The Gulfside City Series
The series chronicles decades of a basketball-crazy small town in rural Florida. Current high school players struggle with relationships, trauma and identity while the former stars struggle with advancing age and vanishing youth. Fans find themselves in positions that are at once awkward, funny and heart-breaking. Characters move fluidly across the stories, never falling on their faces until they’re inside the next tale.
Books in this series include:
The Trip to Helen Gawne
Volume 1, comedy
Available now at Amazon.com
Four lifetime friends go on a road trip to take one last shot at winning the heart of their mutual former crush, the Prom Queen. Except it’s almost fifty years after high school and the guys are all in their sixties. What can possibly go wrong?
Jake, Elvis, Woody and Alessandro travel from the Florida Panhandle to Las Vegas to see Helen Bradley. Helen married Richie Gawne, the basketball star in a sports-crazy town. An unfortunate accident with a bouncing basketball knocked loose a nasty clot in Richie’s brain and, well, he’s now playing for another team. And his widow, Helen Gawne, is once more available.
As their golden years tarnish before their eyes, the four friends take off cross-country on their last desperate shot at youth. They’re on The Trip to Helen Gawne.
Four Seconds on the Clock
Logan Matthews has it all: good grades, a leading position on the basketball team, a hot girlfriend, a smart best friend, a great part-time job and his own car – and a slam-dunk basketball scholarship to a nationally-ranked university. Everything’s going his way. So, why does life suddenly feel as though everything is spiraling out of control?
A substitute teacher with an agenda is threatening to fail him in an important class. His father, the bigot, has grounded him and ordered him to drop his girlfriend because her brother is gay. He’s also told him to find a new best friend because the current one is black. Logan and his former best friend, Tommy, hate each other but must cooperate or Coach will make sure they both lose their scholarships.
First Logan gets sick, then Tommy. Finally, secrets both glorious and gruesome, buried too long, surface and the young men have to face the past to get on with the future.
As Logan pivots his feet on the squeaky gym floor, he’s counting on a desperation play to win the game. And he wonders just how many more desperation plays, on and off the court, will have to succeed to get his life in order. It could all start with winning this game, but can he do it? After all, there are only four seconds left on the clock.
Four Seconds on the Clock: College Freshmen
Tommy and Logan are now freshmen basketball players at Dual Carolina University. It’s Tommy’s turn to tell the story. Their relationship continues to develop and expand, while it deals with setbacks, jealousy, infidelity, and the aftermath of trauma. The young men make new friends, stay in contact with old ones, and experience all the ups and downs of college life, from uninhibited drunken parties through dorm life, a lot of new things (such as their first four-way), and discoveries about themselves and others. Their severe trauma as college freshmen still haunts them, and their biological families reject them. So, they create a family of their choosing.
Each man takes on a second sport, one with a homophobic team captain, the other with a team that takes coed showers. The basketball season takes twists and turns, ranging from player injuries through beating the number one team in the country, to screwing delightfully with the other teams’ minds.
One is the victim of attempted rape, the other gives in to desires he shouldn’t have, and their teammates take them under their wings, protecting them from all they can. Still, both men question themselves, each other, and the nature and future of their relationship. Do they have a future? Maybe.
This chapter in their lives closes at a wedding. A man at the next table drops to one knee, and proposes to his boyfriend. That inspires Logan, who drops to one knee, while Tommy panics. Tommy’s not ready to get married, what is he going to say? Well, that depends on the question now, doesn’t it?
The Head Game
Volume 4, sports comedy
“Basketball is one-third skill, one-third dedication, and the other two-thirds is mental.”
– Coach Leslie Martin, Stoneport High School Head Basketball Coach
The Stoneport, Florida, Sasquatch basketball team has average players with average talent and skills. The small rural school wins most of its games and is a perennial contender for the state championship.
How do they do it? They mess with the other teams’ minds. Their opponents are playing basketball. These guys are playing the Head Game. Coach Martin pulls out all the stops, enlisting the aid of the cheerleaders, the fans and anybody who’ll help, to screw with the other teams’ minds. And it works.