SAND DOLLAR by Sebastian Cole Now Only 99¢
Posted on April 2, 2015
SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love ebook is on sale for 99¢ (reg. $4.99) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes & Kobo. If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time to check it out!
Sand Dollar Book Giveaway at Book Reporter
Posted on September 16, 2013
I’ll be giving away 30 autographed copies of my debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, at Book Reporter. Click here to enter to win. Good luck!
– Sebastian 🙂
Interview with Author Sebastian Cole on BlogTalkRadio
Posted on February 22, 2013
Hey, guys. I’ll be doing my first radio interview to discuss my debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, on Saturday, February 23rd at 12:00 p.m. E.S.T. on BlogTalkRadio. Please feel free to call in to speak with me and the hosts, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan and Jamie B. Musings. I look forward to speaking with you!
Sebastian Cole 🙂
“It was one of those ‘Oh my God, that can’t possibly be’ types of moments.”
Posted on February 10, 2013
★★★★★ “Many reviewers have compared Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole to Nicholas Sparks. To be fair I want you to know that I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book nor have I seen a related movie. I don’t ordinarily read books that are classified as romance but I was interested in Sand Dollar due to its fantasy romance genre.
For the first half of the book it seemed more like a lost love type of story and although that is interesting, I wasn’t quite sure what the fantasy aspect was. As I continued to read though, that became increasingly clear. From the beginning it is clear that Noah is a great person with a great desire to love and be loved. I have never been in a position where the person I am destined to be with – my soulmate – is just not someone it is possible to be with. But the premise is quite heartbreaking and I found myself wanting so much more for Noah. Robin is his soulmate. That is clear but for some reason it just never seems to work out. The reason it doesn’t work out is eventually made clear and then my heart broke for the two of them and how they had so much stacked against them and their relationship.
The fantasy becomes evident toward the end of the book, and it was one of those “Oh my God, that can’t possibly be” types of moments. I read most of this book in one day/sitting. That wasn’t my intent but once I made it past the first half of the book I really just could not find the perfect time to put it aside for another day. Every chapter’s conclusion was not a conclusion at all – it left me hanging for the next and I just couldn’t step away. I give this story a five-star rating and would definitely read future novels by Sebastian Cole.” — The Stuff of Success
Sand Dollar Book giveaway ends February 17th. To enter, click here and scroll down to Rafflecopter.
Lessons Learned in Writing My First Novel
Posted on December 22, 2012
I’m the type of guy who believes you can achieve anything you set your mind to, as long as you give it your all and don’t give up. So when I decided to write a novel, it didn’t matter to me that I had never done anything like that before. What mattered to me was that I had an amazing story looming in my head, a story that needed to be born. With no experience, training, or education in creative writing, I figured I’d pick up the skills along the way, which is exactly what happened. Besides, I thought, how hard could it be to write a book? Well, I’d soon find out.
What I thought would take a couple of months, took a couple of years. After five months of writing everyplace and everywhere, I finally reached the “finish line” of my manuscript – that magical day when you type, “THE END.” Okay, so I wrote a manuscript; now what? The first thing I did was to copyright it, followed by sending it out to those of my friends who read a lot. This worked out great, providing me with honest feedback in various aspects. Then it was back to rewriting the story, and when I was done, I rewrote some more. Next, I hired a professional to critique the story, who gave me invaluable advice, which meant more rewriting. I soon learned Lesson One in writing: writing is rewriting. There’d always be room for improvement.
By this point in time during this process, I felt that the story had risen to a level of brilliance. But what about my writing style and voice? It needed to be just as good as the best-selling authors’, because they don’t put an asterisk next to your name along with an explanation about your education. So I spent months combing through the manuscript, trying to bring the level of writing up to the level of the story.
When I felt I was ready, I tried soliciting literary agents with a one-page query letter, synopsis, and whatever their submission guidelines called for. Oh, did I mention the Catch 22 in traditional publishing? Apparently, you need a literary agent to get traditionally published. However, in order to get a literary agent, you need to have already been published. So it’s nearly impossible to get an agent unless you’re a famous celebrity, politician, sports figure, etc. Certainly, they’d give me more credence if I had a BFA or MFA in creative writing, which I had not. Like all roads to success, this one’s paved with rejection. And after tons of rejection letters from literary agents, I had a choice to make: give it up or step it up. Since giving up is not really in my vocabulary, I stepped it up.
So I hired an editor, and the first thing she did was to cross off 5,000 unnecessary words. For instance, you shouldn’t write, “run fast.” You should simply write, “run”, because obviously if you’re running, it’s fast. Who knew?? Besides copy-editing, my editor did developmental editing, too, telling me where the story needed to be improved. It was kind of like digging for treasure – she’d tell me where to dig, and I’d come up with something remarkable, as if she knew I had it in me before I ever did. I learned a lot simply by reading her edits and comments, and I became a better writer for it.
I had rewritten the manuscript time and time again for a period of two years, and in the process, I learned how to write. Looking back, I had no idea how long it was going to take or how hard it was going to be. Writing the manuscript, however, was the easy part. Navigating my way to a successful book, now that’s the hard part.
After getting the go-ahead from my editor, I hired a cover artist, designer, and formatter; and I was on my way to self-publishing my first novel, SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love. Now it was time to find out how good it really was. I set up a website, SebastianColeAuthor.com, entered contests, gave away free books to reviewers, and waited for the reviews to start coming in.
And the results? Well, the reviews have been mostly outstanding, with an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5 stars) on Amazon with over 60 reviews. People who have reviewed SAND DOLLAR have even called it the best love story they’ve ever read, with many of them comparing me to Nicholas Sparks. I was also a finalist in ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition for first-time authors. Who knew?!
But my greatest reward lies not in any number or rating. My greatest reward lies in the effect I’ve had on the lives of others through my writing. People who’ve read SAND DOLLAR, especially those who have lost a loved one, feel that the book was written just for them, as if the author expressed in words what they have always felt. One person wrote that the story “touched the very depths of her soul,” and she’ll “cherish the book forever.” She loved the book so much that she even had the book made into earrings!
I only wish more people knew about it so they could read it. I honestly feel the world would benefit, if they only knew… What I need is exposure. But how do I do that? It would be great if I had a YouTube video with millions of hits, or if Oprah were to pick SAND DOLLAR for her book club, but neither is likely to happen at the moment. So I sent out press releases to local newspapers and got a couple of articles written about me. I’ve done several book signings, and I’ve talked at different venues about my experiences. Despite my success, my book is currently only available online, not in bookstores, and very few people have ever heard of me.
So it’s back to the literary agents I go. I’ve somehow made it full circle. But will I have a different result now that SAND DOLLAR has gained traction? Stayed tuned to find out. Regardless of whether or not SAND DOLLAR ever makes it big, touching the lives of others through my writing has been the single most gratifying thing I have ever done in my life. And pursuing my dreams has made all of the difference.
Life’s a journey. I can’t see what lies ahead, but I know one thing for sure: when I look behind, I see the things that I’ve accomplished… and I smile with pride.
SAND DOLLAR Book Giveaway at The Romance Reviews
Posted on December 16, 2012
Win a signed copy of my debut novel, SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love at The Romance Reviews. The contest ends December 30th, so don’t miss out!
“Get it, read it, love it! I know I did!”
Posted on December 10, 2012
★★★★★ An Absolute Must Read! AMAZING LOVE STORY!
“This book is absolutely amazing. The best love story I think I have read in a long time. You will cry like a baby, I know that I did. This story is so incredibly well written, you will find yourself immersed in this one. The characters are so true to life, I felt like I was right beside them. This is truly a love story you will remember for years to come. I can’t wait to read more from Sebastian in the future. We all have a soul mate, I was lucky enough to find mine after many years of us going back and forth. To the real life Noah, never give up on your one true love. Please, please, please people , read this book, it is an extraordinary story of undying love. This is a read you can not miss out on. Get it, read it, love it! I know I did! AMAZING! THANK YOU TO SEBASTIAN COLE! I look forward to the next one. ABSOLUTELY COMPELLING!” — Deb B
Lisa’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on December 10, 2012
★★★★★ Great book for the romantic
“Mr Cole wrote a lovely sad bittersweet love story that you will not want to put down!!!! For anyone who has been in love with their forever soul mate. You cannot go wrong with this story.” — Lisa
Nadine’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on December 10, 2012
★★★★★ Excellent Book!!
“Very very nice Mr. Sebastian Cole……looking forward to reading your next book. I loved your writing and the feelings you evoked in me while reading your book.” — Nadine
The eReader Cafe recommends SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love
Posted on December 10, 2012
And at only 99 cents, it’s a bargain!
The eReader Cafe is a great place to find free books and bargain books for your Kindle.
“I hope there will someday be a movie”
Posted on November 28, 2012
“I finally finished reading, “Sand Dollar”, and I really enjoyed it! There were so many unexpected turns in this story, and as I approached the end of the book, I found myself planning to read the book again from the beginning. There are revelations in in the later chapters which give a deeper meaning and understanding to it’s earlier chapters.
Although I’m familiar with many different psychological disorders, I had very little knowledge or understanding of ***** before reading this book. This book will be a huge encouragement, not only for those who suffer with the disorder, but also for friends and family members.
“I Will Be Here,” by Steven Curtis Chapman, is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, and I’m so glad it was used as the theme song of this story. I hope there will some day be a movie, and that this will be the theme song! Sadly, I have only heard this song at Christian weddings, and I find it unfortunate that it has not become very well known in secular realms. I hope that this book will bring it to a new level of popularity. This concept of steadfast love, in the face of hardship, is a relatively unknown mindset in our self-centered world. This book is a great lesson in how to be steadfast in the face of adversity.
I especially loved the author’s notes at the end of the book. It made the book feel much more real to me. I found it difficult at first to related to such a perfect fairytale ending, but it was very easy for me to relate to Noah’s hopes and dreams for a fairytale ending. I also loved how the author made God such a constant and attainable companion to Noah. God was faithful, despite Noah’s lack of faith, and this is a beautiful revelation of how God desires relationship with each of us.
Although most readers will probably not agree with me, I absolutely LOVE Noah’s mom, Miriam!! She’s got tons of character flaws, but that’s what made her so genuine. Great character development there. I think, of all the characters in the book, she was the most real to me. I could really picture her, hear her voice.
I also loved how the author put his acknowledgements at the end of the book. So many writers put them at the beginning, but it’s usually only after reading a book that we are interested in hearing more about who it was that made such significant contributions to the author’s life and project. The artwork on both the front cover and the back is absolutely gorgeous, and it was THE selling feature that first hooked me. From there, the writing was all that the cover promised it to be. I look forward to reading more from Sebastian Cole.” — Marjorie Savoie
Lisa’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on September 16, 2012
★★★★★ Great read!
“Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love will make even the hardest hearts melt and believe in love once again. This is a fabulous read for men and women alike. One of the best books I have read in a long time!” — Lisa H.
A Very Touching Review of Sand Dollar, Remembering Her Father on Veterans Day
Posted on November 13, 2012
“I think I have a new favorite book. I absolutely loved this book. I just finished it today and thought that it was amazing. I was at my Mom’s house reading the final chapters and crying, then I handed it to her and said, “You’ve got to read this!” She said she wasn’t sure as she had seen me crying. I told her that it is indeed a beautiful love story and it did have a fantastic ending. I don’t even usually like romance novels but I loved this one. My favorite part was when the protagonist, Noah, said to his brother, and I’m paraphrasing here, even though my life may be over, my love will never end. It is especially reassuring to read this today on Veteran’s Day as I’m missing my eternal hero, my dad. I believe that even though I didn’t get to see him and thank him for his service to our country this morning, that he still knows what is in my heart and mind and that he does indeed still continue to love me as much as I still love him. Thank you, Mr. Cole, for an incredible novel that moved me to tears in a very personal way. I will most definitely read this novel again, as I often do with my favorites, and recommend it to my friends. Congratulations on a superb book!” — Donna
“It was one of the greatest love stories ever told!”
Posted on November 13, 2012
★★★★★ A Must Read For Every Romantic!
“This is the story of Noah Hartman’s life and it begins with him narrating the story with him and how he found the love of his life Robin. He finally found Robin after searching and searching for Mrs. Right! They begin dating and of course his well to do parents do not agree as she is not what “they” want, she isnt well to do, she isnt jewish, she isnt right for their son etc. They are some of the worst parents esp. the mom they control every aspect of Noah’s life and u really want to just slap them. Even though they dont agree Noah dates Robin and is going to marry her. Without giving too much away the marriage doesnt happen and Noah is torn up more than u can ever imagine. Years and years go by and Noah finds another woman Sarah and knows she will never replace Robin but things happen and they decide to wed but guess who shows up on the wedding day? Oh well that is it you will have to read the book! It’s a great book and you wont be sorry you bought it. I won this book and Mr. Cole was so gracious he autographed it and wrote a note in it! I am going to give back by buying another copy for a Christmas gift! It was one of the greatest love stories ever told! I hope to see it in the movies bc i will definitely go see it! I give it 5 Sand dollars, i mean stars! Can’t wait for Mr. Cole’s 2nd novel! Way to go! I will recommend this to all my friends and family!” — Riau74
Pixie’s Review of Sand Dollar From The Ravaged Jersey Shore
Posted on November 11, 2012
A LightHouse In MY Storm
“Let me start by telling you I live in one of the Devastated Areas of The Jersey Shore. we were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and with no power and destruction all around me imagine my sheer delight to look in my mailbox and see this book! I open it and read the First quote ” If Someday you should ever think of me and miss me, know in your heart that I’d want you to find me again, no matter how distant in time and space….. FIND ME”….. I cried…. People You NEED to FIND this book. Sebastian Cole writes a love story like no other, I felt every emotion with our ‘Soul Mates’ Noah and Robin, probably ten times more because of whats happening in our lives… I will not spoil the book for you just know these two very precious souls go through more unjust messing in their lives and grief by over controlling parents, unscrupulous professionals, evil people and just life itself, to be brought together and torn apart through a series of problems really caused by neither Noah or Robin, throw in Josh (I LOVE the twist with Josh) and you will have a love story that goes beyond time and space. Very well done Mr. Cole THANK YOU for giving me a light house in my storm… I give this book 5 sand dollars…” — Pixie
Terri’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on November 10, 2012
“This book was a great book to read! I loved Noah and hearing his story tugged at my heart strings! This book will capture your attention and will not let go till the last page is turned. I will carry this one for a long time to come!!!” — Terri
Audrey Mageau’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on November 7, 2012
Don’t take love for granted
“Just finished reading Sand Dollar, the book is amazing! It touched my heart like no other book has ever done. The undying love of Noah is a love that everyone searches for and few ever find. The author has written a wonderful love story, with the message ‘Don’t ever take love for granted’! Will be waiting for more stories from this author.” — Audrey Mageau
“The Greatest Love Story I Have Ever Read” – A Novel Review
Posted on November 7, 2012
“Noah Hartman meets his soul mate, Robin at a local club. When he loses her, he does not ever give up on their love, truly believing they belong together. Finally, Noah agrees to marry Sarah, a long time family friend. As Sarah is ready to walk down the aisle, Robin walks in and declares her love for Noah.
An old and sick Noah tells his love story to Josh, an orderly at Mount Sinai Hospital. As the story is told different family members arrive to tell him goodbye. The closer to the end of the story, the more the pieces of his life are put back together.
When I was told that this was the next great love story I was cynical, but it is totally true. Noah and Robin’s story is the greatest love story I have ever read.
Robin was a character I didn’t really like. The way she played with the good guy, Noah, broke my heart. The fact that she had a child from a previous relationship and kept uprooting her life made her the type of mother that I never understand or can relate to. I did like that she encouraged Noah to break free from the unreal hold his parents had on him letting him finally live his life his way. But this was really the only good thing I can say about Robin.
Noah was the prince of the story. Willing and wanting to worship Robin and put her on a pedestal giving her everything a woman could want. Every girls dream man. The fact that he allowed his parents to rule so many of his decisions and life was his biggest downfall. The control went beyond being a momma’s boy and was definitely the cause of most of his issues with Robin. Noah instantly won my heart when he included Robin’s daughter in many of their plans making her feel like part of the “family” he was trying to form.
I highly recommend Sand Dollar to everyone. This is a story that will touch you to the depth of your heart.” — A Novel Review
Majek’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon Canada
Posted on November 3, 2012
Love this book!
“This is a great book! A heart warming story of a love between two people meant to be together. I would recommend this book to anyone who has loved.” — majek
Shademan’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon UK
Posted on November 3, 2012
“A beautifully presented book. A love story told by Noah on his death bed. This is a novel once you begin you have to finish a truly good love story for the romantic at heart.” — Shademan
Melanie Layton’s Review of Sand Dollar at Amazon
Posted on October 30, 2012
A beautiful story
*I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads!*
“This is the story of Noah Hartman and his quest to find his soulmate. The story is told by 80 year old Noah as a reflection of his life, starting back in his late 30s. Noah h it all–a gorgeous home, a job with a huge salary, good looks and a fit body, and a fabulous car. He has already had failed marriage, but is ready to find true love now. His parents are very controlling, and have very specific ideas about what kind of girl is right for their son. Noah is less concerned about their criteria, and has created an elaborate system for ranking the women he is interested in from the online dating website he joined. After months of unsuccessful dating, Noah decides to go back to the old-fashioned way of meeting women–he heads to dance clubs.
It is at a dance club that Noah finally has the moment he has been waiting for–time slows down as he sets eyes on a beautiful red-head dancing. He makes his way over to her, and when their eyes met their souls connect. She is the one he has been looking for, and she feels the same connection with him. This woman, Robin, hides some dark secrets that will affect their future in ways Noah can never prepare himself for.
This was a very beautiful, romantic, heartbreaking and inspiring story. It was a unique perspective and very engrossing to read. Noah’s story shows that fighting for love, and protecting love when you find it, should be more important than anything else.” — Melanie Layton