Noah Hartman, eighty years old, lies sick in a hospital bed recounting his life of love and loss to Josh, a wise and compassionate orderly who stopped in to bring him dinner. As Noah’s loved ones arrive one by one to see him, they listen in on his story, and we’re transported back in time to Noah’s younger years.
Though outwardly seeming to have it all, Noah, now thirty-five, is actually an empty, lost, and broken man running on automatic pilot. He has no true identity due to having allowed his powerful, wealthy parents to manipulate, control, and brainwash him from a young age. With the threat of disinheritance and withholding love and approval if he doesn’t comply with the plan they have for his life, Noah is lured in by the reward of great wealth and the illusion of running the family business empire some day. In truth, however, Noah is like a regular, everyday guy living a life that was not meant for him.
Enter Robin, twenty-five years old, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit. Full of life and always living in the moment, Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and live his own life at all costs, reclaiming his true self.
While snorkeling in the Caribbean, the captain of the boat warns them not to disturb anything in the sea. Ignoring the exhortation, Noah dives down and snags a sand dollar from the ocean floor, whereupon it explodes in his hand. With the fragile sand dollar taking on new significance, Robin inexplicably leaves Noah shortly after returning from their vacation. Like a passing breeze, she disappears out of his life without a trace, seemingly forever.
Years pass, and Noah still can’t get her out of his mind and out of his heart. After all, she’d always be the one who got away, the one he loved the most. That’s when he finds out about her hidden secret, the underlying condition responsible for her departure. Noah has no choice but to move on with his life without her, meeting Sarah and pursuing a relationship with her.
Years later, it’s Noah and Sarah’s wedding day, and Robin discovers a clue that Noah had surreptitiously sent her, inspiring her to race to the wedding to try to stop it. With the wedding in shambles, the scene jumps back to present day, with both Robin and Sarah placed in Noah’s hospital room. But which one did he choose?
Things are definitely not as they appear as Noah discovers a far greater truth about his past, present, and future. As Noah finishes telling his story, we are brought up to present day, where the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of his life.
Targeted Age Group:
To answer this question, let’s start by identifying the genre. I’d prefer to categorize Sand Dollar as a love story, and leave it at that. But since Love Story is not an official BISAC genre, the genre is identified as Fantasy Romance, kind of like The Notebook with a Sixth Sense twist. However, since the fantasy element doesn’t come into play until the end of the story, many have described it as a contemporary romance or perhaps even a tragedy.
But before we complicate this issue 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 tossing the book across the room, stomping on it a few times, and then picking it up to continue reading where you left off? A genre that I affectionately refer to as the W.T.H. genre? Nah…
Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up, how is Sand Dollar different from other romance novels? You see, unlike your typical fairytale, the characters in Sand Dollar have real life issues that must be dealt with. And in real life, it’s the ones we love the most who all to often end up hurting us the most. A mixture of joy and heartache, this realistic portrayal of life is what sets Sand Dollar apart from all other romance novels.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Life is a journey; and the journey of becoming a first-time author is paved with rejection, unfortunately. But yet, it’s not impossible to break in. Every successful author had to start somewhere. And more than likely, it wasn’t their first manuscript that got them in the door. But don’t let this discourage you. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, so long as you give it your all and don’t give up. And despite the odds, success is attainable. One of the biggest challenges, you’ll find, is not so much writing the book as it is marketing yourself once you’ve published it. Fortunately, however, you’ve just figured out how to do it. You’ve come to the right place!
Born and raised in New England, Sebastian Cole joined his family’s business after graduating from Brown University in the 80s. A true romantic, his life is defined by following his heart and pursuing his dreams, which is why he has become a novelist. Sebastian writes from the heart, believing in true love, love at first sight, and finding the one person in life you’re meant to be with.
Sebastian’s debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, has won numerous awards, including being a winner in the Beverly Hills Book Awards, a finalist in the ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition for first-time authors, and a current finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book Of The Year Award. Sand Dollar was on the cover of Publishers Weekly on March 25, 2013. With a rating of 4.6 stars, the book has been getting rave reviews, many of which compare him to his favorite author, Nicholas Sparks. Whether or not Sebastian ever achieves that kind of success, touching the lives of others through his writing has been the single most gratifying thing he has ever done in his life.
For more information, please visit Sebastian’s website at SebastianColeAuthor.comWhat Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The concept for Sand Dollar is based on an experience I once had while snorkeling with my soul mate in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Ignoring the captain’s warning not to touch anything in the sea, I dove down to pick up a lone sand dollar at rest on the ocean floor. As I held it out to her, the sand dollar exploded in my hand, disappearing in the water around me. Shortly after returning home from paradise, our relationship came to an abrupt end, as she disappeared from my life, seemingly forever.
I wrote the book because I wanted the world to look at sand dollars through my eyes. For me, the sand dollar has come to represent life, and how fragile life is. Just like the sand dollar, life holds no promises. Seemingly solid and secure in our hands, the blessings we have in our lives today are easily shattered tomorrow. The lesson learned: never take your loved ones for granted. And if you’re ever lucky enough to find that one person in life who makes you love more than any other person could possibly make you love, you treat every day together as if it were your last. You cherish every moment.
My guess is that most of us could probably tell our own version of Sand Dollar. That’s because we’ve all experienced love and loss in our lives. And for far too many of us, and for whatever circumstances, the one we loved the most 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.