Author Reading: Tommy Tutalo, author of Esperanza

The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome you to our third author reading! Today I’m honored to host the author of Esperanza, Tommy Tutalo.

There are some books you read because they sound interesting and fun. Then there are some books you read because you feel like you have to, because there’s a special meaning to it. For me, this was Esperanza.

Esperanza tells the story of a woman who immigrated illegally from Mexico, the dangers she had to navigated, the hardships she had to live with in her search for a better life, and the little girl she raised who wants nothing more than to stay with her mother. Esperanza is an incredibly beautiful story. It’s hard to read at times, but absolutely made me think and wonder and deepen my heart. Tommy Tutalo managed to paint a vivid picture of the life of an illegal immigrant, complete with the complications that come when the illegal crossing is tied to a gang. True to life and heartbreaking, he still managed to weave an incredible ray of hope throughout the entire novel.

Published in 2017, Esperanza remains as timely now as then, perhaps more so. Focused on illegal immigration at the southern border of the US, this is an issue that has been in the news more often that not, especially of late. Esperanza  delves deeply this life, the fear and the desire for something better, but, most importantly, the hope these people carry and the dangers they face.

Tommy is a self-published author, screenwriter, content writer, copywriter, and visual artist on the East Coast, where much of Esperanza is set. In addition to Esperanza, his debut novel, he has also published An Indie Author’s Way and Modest Marine, both non-fiction. He is currently hard at work on his second fiction novel, The Mime.

Without further ado, enjoy a description of Esperanza followed by the reading.

About Esperanza

Three journals left behind by Gabriela, after her untimely death, for her daughter, Sarita, a young adult, become windows into the past. The past then becomes alive, as Sarita reads through the journals, and learns more about the life of Gabriela, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who seeks the American Dream, and Dante, an artist, who seeks redemption. Both are united and divided by a crime syndicate, Nada Mas, and eventually, what binds them back together is a child, Sarita. It is after both Gabriela and Dante break ties with Nada Mas that Gabriela is abducted, held captive, and forcefully deported back to Mexico, and Dante, who is seeking refuge in Mexico, takes Sarita with him, from New Jersey, cross country, to Mexico, and back, all while two separate branches of the FBI are pursuing Dante, along with Nada Mas. In the end Sarita learns about her true origins, and Dante and Gabriela, discover truth.

Please welcome Tommy Tutalo!

Thank you so much, Tommy! It was an incredible pleasure to have you here today.

About Tommy Tutalo

Tommy Tutalo is a self-published author, screenwriter, content writer, copywriter, and visual artist, whose work is considered to be diverse, and universal. A native of West Orange, New Jersey, Tommy comes from a hardworking, and loving blue-collar background, and grew up in an ethnically diverse community. Both Tommy’s up-bringing, and the melting pot he grew up in have been two influential factors in his life and the arts. At an early age Tommy discovered a love for both the arts and the beautiful game, soccer. Soccer would become Tommy’s outlet and craft, which he would nourish and pursue, putting the arts off as secondary. Tommy’s hard work ethic, devotion, and perseverance with soccer, would enable Tommy to play at a very high level during his adolescent years, becoming one of the most decorated and recognized players in New Jersey, and eventually sought by, and play for The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where he would win a DIV. III National Championship with the 2001 team. This would be the pinnacle of Tommy’s soccer career, and the foundation for the next phase in his life. As one door shut, another door opened, and Tommy would then pursue the arts, learning many different art mediums during, and after graduating from college, with a Bachelor of the Arts degree, Art History, and by any means devote his life to living as an independent artist and author. 

After the release of Tommy’s debut novel Esperanza, which acquired rave reviews “. . .heart-wrenchingly good . . .” “. . .epic in scale . . .” “An often enthralling tale of how a strong family can withstand anything.”  “The setting is cunningly done and the characters leap off the pages with a lot of life.” it has been taking on a life of its own. Esperanza is a story which revolves around the illegal immigration situation at the U.S. Mexico border. A reflection of the current times, Esperanza focuses on the darker side of illegal immigration and how a modest dreamer can get caught up in a life of crime in order to cross over the border and survive in the United States while seeking to live the American Dream.

An Indie Author’s Way, Tommy’s second published book is a must have for any aspiring writer. Inside is a glimpse of the writer’s journey, a collection of notes, journal entries, articles and writing tips; an enthralling account of Tutalo’s writing process, mind-set and experiences.

Modest Marine, Tommy’s third published book is a documented account of his grandfather Domenick P. Tutalo’s time served in the United States Marine Corps C/1/24th Marines, Fourth Marine Division during World War II. From his modest life in New Jersey to the sands of Iwo-Jima, this is a piece of history to honor and learn from.

The Mime, Tommy’s upcoming 4th published book/2nd novel, is a fantasy tale about how a young girl helps a mime retrieve his voice which was stolen from a magical villain seeking vengeance. The expected publication for The Mime is Spring 2021.


Connect with Tommy Tutalo

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Linkedin

Email: tommytutalo@gmail.com

Purchase Links

Amazon | Website


The author, Tommy Tutalo, retains all rights to the Esperanza reading published above, which may not be copied, reproduced, modified, sold, or distributed without the author’s express permission. To contact Tommy Tutalo to request permission to utilize the author reading video other than to share it, please send your inquiry to Kat via the Contact page.

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