ALL OF TOM’S BESTSELLING NOVELS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS AND MOST OTHERS:
ALL OF TOM’S BESTSELLING NOVELS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS AND MOST OTHERS:
Sonny Raines is a furniture salesman in New York. After telling his boss off, and quitting his job, he comes home to find out his wife, Wendy, is having an affair. He packs his bags into his old van and heads for Florida to start a new life. He settles into a small town just outside Key West where he meets good common people who also have battle scars like his own. He finds a new job, makes a new life, and falls in love again. But while he is at it, he gets pulled into a dispute about a real estate developer, protected mango trees, and a threat to the new life he’s learned to love.
If you’re a fan of Hemingway’s scarred heroes, and you want to read a six-star future best seller, here you go. If you are a budding author who wants to study the work of a master, well, this is how it’s done, son.
Agents and editors will blog and write articles about the “rules” of writing, and point to techniques that no author should even think of sending in. It is a rare and talented writer who can get away with breaking those rules. One of those rules is that a writer should never say “little did he know”. Another rule is that background information should be delivered in small doses. Too much background at one time is known as an “information dump.” As a rule, background should not exceed more than a page at a time.
In this story, Winton successfully uses the “I didn’t know this at the time, but…” ploy, and follows it with pages of background that cover Julie’s engagement to her former fiancée, a car accident, and a resulting handicap. It’s done so smoothly that the reader doesn’t even notice the rules are being broken. After reading that chapter, I had to stop and consider the feat this author pulled off. I read the chapter again, just to admire the beauty and skill of the way it was written.
The love scene is also excellently portrayed. While written from a man’s point of view, using tasteful language and descriptions, the scene comes off the way a woman wants it. It’s not just climactic, but tender and loving at the same time, giving, not taking, passionate, yet tender. Wendy was a complete fool to ever let Sonny go.
The action scenes are also tastefully described, yet make you gouge the edges of your Kindle and squirm in your seat. These scenes prove that, with skill, a writer doesn’t need to resort to guts to make a book gut wrenching.
The only thing that could possibly improve the story would be if Sonny realized that being sterile is a sort of handicap, too. That would have motivated the ending better, but even without that insight, the ending will make you say “aaaaaaaah” and you’ll be tempted to read it again and again.
I’m honoured to be the blog that Tom Winton’s has chosen to showcase his new release. So I won’t waste any time but get right to the point and present
Long Island salesman Sonny Raines has had it. He’s sick and tired of living in a world where wrong always wins over right. Then, on his thirty-ninth birthday, when he loses his job and comes home to the most devastating shock of his life, that’s it. He’s dropping out.
With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van fifteen-hundred miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that’s exactly what he thinks he’s doing when he settles on a paradisiacal speck of an island known as Wrecker’s Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home.
But all isn’t blue skies, swaying palms, and coconut oil on Wrecker’s Key. There’s trouble wafting in the warm breezes that caress the island. Although Sonny certainly isn’t looking for romance, he finds himself falling for his next door neighbor. Ex-model Julie Albright just may be the kindest, most beautiful woman to ever grace his eyes, but there’s a snag. She has a small physical flaw that, no matter how hard he tries, Sonny can’t overlook. And his feelings are no secret to Julie. She can read them, and they weigh as heavy on her heart as they do on his. Then things get even worse. One night, under the cover of darkness, danger drifts up the deep, silent currents from the lower keys—serious danger—life and death danger. And Sonny Raines finds himself right in the middle of it.
And if that wasn’t enough, I have an excerpt for you to make you want even more! Believe me after reading the following bit, you will click one of the links below and get your copy of the book.
Coffee or Tea?
I’ll take coffee, please, just a bit of cream. I’ve got to have it when I write or do anything else in the mornings. Usually I go with decaf but every now and then I take a walk on the wild side and go with the high-test.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and when did you start writing?
I was born in Manhattan and for the most part grew up in Queens, New York. I didn’t start writing until I was forty-five. I tried to begin earlier, but for two full years all I could do was stare at the first blank page of a Spiral notebook. When I finally got going (on a part-time basis), it took me two-and-a half years to complete my first novel, Beyond Nostalgia.
You’ve written several highly rated novels in multiple genres, and most recently a contemporary novelette: Within a Man’s Heart. Tell us about your books and what inspires you to write.
I was first inspired to write after I’d been reading seriously for about ten years. At the time I always had about a half-dozen books at the ready, alongside my recliner. But there was a problem. I couldn’t finish reading many of them. While some folks feel they have to finish every book they start, I’m not that way. I’ve got a short attention span, and if a book doesn’t hold me from the get go, I’ll quickly move on to another.
That’s what inspired me to put my pen to paper. I believed I could write fluff-less stories. My goal was to write entire books without a single paragraph that would allow readers to yawn. And that’s what I still try to do. For example, descriptions of people and places are often very humdrum and can slow down a story’s flow. So, to me, descriptions are the real challenges. Those are the parts of a story I really grapple with. Honestly, there have been times when I’ve spent three or four hours working on a single paragraph.
As for my books, I’ve been very fortunate with them. All, except my brand new novella, have been multi-list Amazon Bestsellers—several times each. And seventy percent of their combined reviews are five stars
Beyond Nostalgia is the poignant story of a man who has the misfortune of finding love too early in life, squandering it, and then mourning its loss for twenty-four years.
The Last American Martyr is about an unemployed doorman who writes a book about the unfair spread of wealth in America. Two years later, after the book becomes an international bestseller, the unlikely candidate is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. But all is not roses. Once he returns home from Stockholm with the prize, he soon learns that a powerful, elitist clique has it in for him. With no other choice, he and his wife flee their longtime home and drive all over America in an RV, hoping to find peace and anonymity.
In my third novel, Four days with Hemingway’s Ghost, Hemingway aficionado Jack Phelan slips into a four-day coma after an accident and finds himself in Key West—spending time with Ernest Hemingway himself—learning more about his hero than he ever could have imagined
And lastly, my new novella Within a Man’s Heart is the story of a New York Sales executive who, four years after the death of his young wife, moves to a small rural New Hampshire town with hopes of finding peace and solace. But it doesn’t happen so quickly. He’s not there fifteen minutes before he finds out he’s in for a lot more than he’d bargained for.
Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?
I work at a small desk in a corner of my living room and like to write in the early mornings, before any clutter has chance to accumulate in my mind.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not your writing?
I’m up every morning before the sun and almost always go for a drive at dawn. After that I spend most of my time writing, marketing my books, participating in my social network, and posting on my Facebook group “Tom Winton Authors Helping Authors.” To clear my mind I hit a local gym three days a week and often take long walks.
Do you have any favorite books or authors?
What are you reading now?
Nothing at the moment, but I am getting ready to give King’s On Writing another whirl. I think it’s a must read for all authors. Every other book I’ve ever read about the writing process has been about as enjoyable as reading a big-city phone directory. Not this memoir/how to. King’s book is a keeper.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Ernest Hemingway used to tell aspiring writers “Write just one sentence; the truest sentence you know.” Great advice! You get that one sentence right, and you’ll have no problem going on from there. Now, if a new writer is at the point where she or he has finished their first book, I strongly recommend joining an online writer’s community. Random House’s YouWriteOn is a very good one, as is the Harper Collins Authonomy site.
Are you planning on writing another book in the near future?
Yes, of course. I’ve already started one. I’m about five thousand words into a memoir about the hair-raising experiences I’ve had while dealing with my mentally ill mother for decades.
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In my day to day contacts with writers all over the world, I can’t tell you how many times I heard folks say things like, “I’ve been writing stories since I was six years old.” or “I wrote my first novel when I was just seventeen.” or “I wanted to be an author ever since I read Flaubert’s Madame Bovaryin high school.” While I wish that Ihad started stringing words together when I was six, sixteen, twenty-six or even thirty-six, I can’t honestly say that I did. I was a late bloomer.
Four years after burying his young wife, New York sales executive Christian Crews still can’t move forward with his life. Day after day, treasured memories of his beloved Elyse continue to drift through his spirit like an endless procession of mournful ghosts.
Chris wants to leave Manhattan—walk away from his job and the apartment he and Elyse once shared. He dreams of moving to New Hampshire, where he feels he just might have a chance of finding peace. But in his grieving mind, breaking away from those memories would be the same as abandoning Elyse—an unforgivable act of betrayal he could never live with.
Then, on the fourth anniversary of Elyse’s death, Chris makes two shocking discoveries, and a part of him begins to believe that she would want him to go on with his life.
Two weeks later he makes the move to New Hampshire, and minutes after arriving in the small rural village of Mountain Step, he meets a beautiful local woman with mesmerizing gray eyes and a heart as big as the surrounding mountains. Beginning another emotional relationship may be the last thing on Chris’s mind, but he soon finds himself falling for Gina Elkin, every bit as hard as she’s fallen for him.
Could there be a future for them? Will Elyse allow it? After all, she’s still deep within Chris’s heart—a place no one else has ever been.