CRIMSON CLOUDS, romance the second time around. A passionate search for self by a man who has just retired from a brilliant career, a desperate effort by his wife to save their 20-year marriage: a life with no love is a life wasted.


Highlights from Writer's Digest, from the Judge for Self-Published e-Book Awards:
- "This book shows an impressive knowledge of art and art history, as well as technique...it gives a sense of place and time to the story... I really enjoyed the descriptions of the cities and the art."

Highlights from Reader's Favorite:
- "Honest, profound and emotional, Crimson Clouds will have you question the meaning of your own life" (Bil Howard)
- "The scenes unfold vividly in front of you, full of color and life, like a painting" (Mamta Madhavan)
- "a must-read novel, enabling the reader to have a deeper understanding of the thoughts and feelings of each character" (Faridah Nassozi)

Highlights from Goodreads, when the first edition ("A Hook in the Sky") was selected Book of the Month by the Boomer Lit Group (January 2013):
- "no dearth of twists and turns in this book... You find yourself holding your breath, quite literally!" (Jo VonBargen);
- "beautifully original and yet heartbreaking" (Lisa Deckert);
- "it bounces between greed and self-denial, between lust and love" (Stephen Woodfin);

This is the second, fully revised and augmented edition of A Hook in the Sky - hailed as "quintessential boomer lit" when it first came out (in 2012).  This is NOT a novel about dull retirees. Robert, the protagonist, is full of energy and ideas First, he is attractive like George Clooney:

Second, his wife Kay, a Manhattan socialite, is beautiful, bright and much younger - she looks like Natalie Portman:

Does this spell eternal happiness? No, they don't have children and have grown apart over the years. He was busy in his career at the United Nations, ending as a top manager in a humanitarian aid agency while she set up a hugely successful contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. Now that he's come home, all the things that stood between them, that could be ignored when he was away at work, come to a head... 

When he decides to pursue his childhood dream of becoming an artist, his wife doesn't understand him.  His old fashioned, academic paintings appall her. They fight over art - she's cool, he's square -, but more separates them than diverging views on Art. A secret Kay has never revealed weighs on their marriage and threatens to break it apart...

They separate, several women enter his life, including beautiful and deeply troubled Nour, young and drifting. At one point, he paints her passionately:

Sexy? Yes, she is...And she spells trouble for Robert. But is that love? Does Robert really know what he wants out of life?

Life is is like climbing ladders, you want to reach that hook up there - but what kind of hook does Robert want?

Read Crimson Clouds, watch how one man tries to empower himself in his second adulthood while his wife reaches out to him. Can she save their marriage? 

Get it on Amazon here

Available on Smashwords here, also in Apple's iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc

Read about it on Goodreads here .The Boomer Lit group on Goodreads discussed it when it was selected Book of the Month in January 2013,  here. Since its publication on Amazon, the book has garnered 29 reviews of which 17 are five-stars  (click here to see the reviews).

Watch the Book trailer (originally done for A Hook in the Sky):

Here's the opening of Crimson Clouds:

    Chapter 1  Napoleon in Tears

Julie stuck her head of curly red hair through the door. “Robert, it’s time to go. You’ve got less than five minutes before the start of the meeting.”
     She pronounced my name the French way: Rob-air, without sounding the “t”. I liked the way she said it. She drew out the “air”, rolling it softly in her English mouth. I was going to miss her, my ever-so-efficient secretary. The round face, the freckles, the constant smile and her mothering me, always reminding me of my next appointment.
     It was odd how much space Julie had taken in my life – many more hours than my wife. Maybe, on reflection, it was not so strange. Think about it; add up your waking hours. You spend more time with people in the office than with your own wife. Especially if she happens to be like Kay, always busy doing her own stuff, always on the go. And I travel for my work too. I often come home late at night. Over the years, it has added up to much less time with Kay and much more with Julie, though I’d been married to Kay for twenty years. And now that I was retiring and coming home for good, what would happen? We had no children; our marriage was all about each other. I started speculating how Kay would take my homecoming when I was interrupted. 

Yes, I'm betting I can sell you the book with just 3 short paragraphs (smile)!

ABOUT THE BOOK in images:

        The novel takes you to the mysterious and wonderful world of contemporary art and to many exciting places in Europe: London, Paris, Umbria in Italy. Whenever things go wrong for Robert (and with the  art installation he invented, called "A Hook in the Sky", things go abysmally wrong!), he runs away to his lovely summer house in Umbria near Lake Trasimeno.

        A beautiful place, judge for yourself:

Sunsets on the lake are famous in Italy for being among the most extraordinary:

Here's a quick watercolor Robert did of the restored farmhouse he lives in:

And here is a painting that plays a pivotal role in the book. Done in the course of Robert's humanitarian work in Bangladesh, it shows two young flood victims, stunned by the tragedy they've endured

This is the kind of academic painting that dismays Robert's wife... But no spoilers! To find out how this particular picture impacts their marriage, you need to read the book right down to the last page.

For more pictures related to Robert's Umbria, click on photo:

CRIMSON CLOUDS: Robert's Umbria

And for more pictures related to Robert's paintings, those that appall his wife, click here:

CRIMSON CLOUDS: Robert's paintings - those his wife despises!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MY OTHER BOOKS, CLICK HERE  You'll discover LUNA RISING (3 books), a coming of age story set in Sicily.  Also a collection of short stories (DEATH ON FACEBOOK) and my poems in FREEZE FRAME, an international poetry anthology edited by British poet Oscar Sparrow.   

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