Promise of a Man by Michael Lindley

Trying to move beyond the betrayal of those he has loved, a man finds his life will require its own measure of deceit and compromises.

Mathew Coulter is a reluctant war hero from the battlefields of France in WWI, heir to a family fortune borne of the illegal liquor trade in Prohibition-era Atlanta, and seemingly doomed to be abandoned or betrayed by the women he loves. Seeking sanctuary in the remote village of Grayton Beach on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida in 1926, he wants nothing more than to leave the past behind and take time to set a new course in his life.

Soon he finds himself caught up in the struggles of several local inhabitants of the little town that bring him to face bitter life choices; a divorced innkeeper who is caring for her blind and gifted granddaughter, abandoned by her mother who is off in a downward spiral of drinking, drugs and dangerous men in New Orleans; a scheming gangster and his promiscuous wife on the run from the law and his rivals in the North; and a beautiful young woman who again steals his heart, but whose motives become increasingly suspect.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Sept. 30, 2009
  • Last updated Sept. 30, 2009
Promise of a Man
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  • Pecos's avatar
    Pecos wrote 5 years, 6 months ago

    Well done. Still reading but have been impressed enough to highly recommend.

  • J&M JENSEN's avatar
    J&M JENSEN wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    PROMISE OF A MAN: Very well crafted story, perfect pace and good smooth read. The kind of book one might read to the end without actually intending to. The story really draws you in and the charaters are well rounded. What really stands out to me is the dialogue, it's sparse and to the point, which in my opinion is the secret. So many people fall down in this area. I'm convinced this will do very well and I wish ...
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  • Retired user
    Val-Rae Christensen [Retired] wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    This is one of my favourite periods of history. And this book is....*sigh* amazing! Superb craftsmanship. Shelved!!!

  • Freddie Omm's avatar
    Freddie Omm wrote 5 years, 10 months ago
    one of the strongest pieces of historical fiction i've read in a long time, this open with morphine, terrible wounds, the destruction and the pity of war . the setting is one which is curiously underexplored, in comparison with other periods, and this is a strength in itself . because WW1 is of endless facination, and touches on deep reserves of folk memory, collective trauma still alive today, only a handul of generations on . . compellingly written prose, a ...
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  • brinskie1's avatar
    brinskie1 wrote 5 years, 10 months ago
    Michael, The strength of your pitch drew me to read several chapters of " Promise of A Man ". The hospital opening immediately brought to mind Dalton Trumbo's classic " Johnny Got His Gun ", though the burdens faced by Mathew Coulter and Johnny differ greatly. You have created intriguing plot lines, developed at a pace that struck a chord with me. Coulter is crafted in flesh and blood and the peripheral cast contains depth as well. I do, however, ...
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  • soutexmex's avatar
    soutexmex wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    BACKING because Bob Steele did and I trust his instincts. Think you can make it to the Ed's desk with this effort. I'll swing by later to give you a right and proper comment.

    Do look forward to your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

    The Obergemau File

  • Retired user
    lynn clayton [Retired] wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    Michael, a wonderful cast of characters amid a moving story which should prove very popular. Wish you success with this. Shelved. Lynn

  • Bob Steele's avatar
    Bob Steele wrote 5 years, 10 months ago
    Promise of a Man is a well written story that evokes the period of the First World War and the conflict between generations within a family convincingly. You have created strong characters and a well-paced narrative that I'm happy to back. A few areas to think about for editing, though. First, C1 is very long, and although it's all to do with Mathew and Celeste I suggest you either split it into two, or make it leaner. Second, by the ...
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  • Shayne Parkinson's avatar
    Shayne Parkinson wrote 5 years, 10 months ago
    Michael, the fact that I've read all you've uploaded and wish there was more shows how engrossing I found "Promise". Mathew is such a sympathetic character. He endures the war and injury, then has happiness snatched away when he loses Celeste. And then he loses Hanna in such a wrenching, heartbreaking way, on the same night that he witnesses the darker side of his father's business dealings. Your descriptions are lovely, my favourites being those of Grayton Beach. It seemed ...
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  • Clare Stephen's avatar
    Clare Stephen wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    My word, this is good. One of the best things I have read on this site. Your first paragraph is mesmerising, the rest flows seemlessly from there. Really good work. Easily shelved. Clare (Second Lives)

  • Cait's avatar
    Cait wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    Promises of Man:

    Michael, I was glad they didn’t amputate Mathew’s leg.

    This reminded me, also, of The English patient. Your writing is very good and you have a good ear for dialogue.

    I agree with Shoshanna about the last line. But a great read all the same.

    Already backed.

    Cáit ~ Muckers ~

  • TJONES's avatar
    TJONES wrote 5 years, 10 months ago

    The beginning on this is great, it is a real grabber. I love all the converstation. Easy book to read. Best of luck with this.

  • Retired user
    cat5149 [Retired] wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Michael,

    The story of Celeste and Matthew is so moving I couldn't stop reading. All the characters are well defined and the prose and dialogue move the story along nicely. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and this is one of the best I've read on Authonomy. Good luck with it.


  • Retired user
    Jill H. O'bones [Retired] wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    Good story and characters. Moves kind of slow. (Maybe more descriptions?)



  • Urania's avatar
    Urania wrote 5 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Michael, this has a superb pitch, lovely writing and I could immediately empathise with the MC. The plot looks as if it's going to be a scorcher too. You have a lovely way with words, both narrative and dialogue. My only suggestion would be to do some more showing rather than telling, for example, the romantic scenes with Celeste, this would truly bring it all to vivid life. But I love this, great period to be writing about and ...
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  • Andrew W.'s avatar
    Andrew W. wrote 5 years, 11 months ago
    Promise of a Man Hi Michael, This is lovely, really envisaged so well. From the opening morphine scene to the brief reflections on how long it had been since he had been able to truly smile, it is these bits of attention to detail that make it all come alive for us. We immediately want it to be better for him, he has been through hell, he deserves a break. You create tension in that opening paragraph but also great ...
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  • Kim Jewell's avatar
    Kim Jewell wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Michael!

    War stories and literary fiction are not usually my cup of tea, your plotline is gripping, and I think this has potential to appeal to a pretty large audience. Your writing is fluid, characters very well developed, and I'm happy to try to help this along. Backed with my best wishes for you!

    Invisible Justice

  • Retired user
    Angela Lett wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

  • Retired user
    Angela Lett wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    I think this is wonderful. The writing is clean and measured - formal even - and perfectly in keeping with era and class, ensuring the story (and all its nuances) is laid bare for the reader to enjoy. Absolutely on my shelf. Angela.

  • Phil Rowan's avatar
    Phil Rowan wrote 5 years, 11 months ago
    This is an excellent story, Michael. I was very taken with the way you started - first Paris in 1918 at the end of the First World War and then moving to Georgia in 1926. Mathew is a strong main character with whom one can empathise and I particularly liked your use of the first person, which works well. Backed with pleasure and wishing you well on the road to publication, which Promise of a Man deserves. Phil Rowan (Weimar ...
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