Off and Running (Fiction; Thriller)

Struggling writer Jack Dillon’s personal and professional life is falling apart…until he gets a lucrative gig writing the biography of TV comedy icon Walt Stuckey, who mysteriously walked away from Hollywood at the height of his popularity…and left his millions of fans wondering why for decades. Now Walt’s going to answer the tantalizing question, assuring that his biography will become a massive bestseller and Jack’s salvation. But when Walt is finally ready to tell Jack his big secret, things go terribly, unpredictably wrong, pushing the desperate author into kidnapping…becoming a fugitive chased by the police, the FBI, the news media, a crazed assassin, and Walt’s talentless & psychopathic son…just to finish the book. It’s a brutally original, crazy ride through California, Death Valley and TV history as Jack tries to solve the mystery and craft a perfect finale that doesn’t end with him going to prison… or to his grave.

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Wild Cards; A Year Counting Cards With a Professional Blackjack Player, a Priest and a $30,000 Bankroll (Non-fiction/memoir)

Philip Reed is coasting toward retirement, looking for one last adventure, when he meets Bill Palis, a professional blackjack player and former member of the legendary MIT team that took the casinos for millions. The two men form a friendship and begin traveling and playing blackjack together along with Father Andy, who kicks in money so they can play out of a $30,000 bankroll. As Phil’s play improves, Bill teaches him to disguise his wins and avoid scrutiny from casino security and the Orwellian “eye-in-the-sky” security cameras. Phil, who has adult ADD, and flunked math in high school, adopts the challenge of card counting as a way to banish the old ghosts of his poor self-image and build new synapses in his aging brain.

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Bird Dog (Fiction; Thriller)

The first of two, “car noir” thrillers featuring Harold Dodge.

Harold Dodge is a tight spot. A pair of hired repo man in a stolen Buick are trying to run him off the freeway — but the cops pull him over first. It’s a blessing, except for one little thing — Harold’s got a dead body in the trunk. It all started because Harold has a weakness for killer legs. And in her spike heels, Mariana Perado is the kind of woman who makes guys like Harold look first and leap later. When she asks him to help her unwind a rip off deal at Joe Covo’s dealership, where Harold once bird-dogged suckers into buying used cars, he jumps and lands in a cesspool of corruption. Seems the fast-talking salesman at Joe Covo’s car lot are up to their pinky rings in a scam so rotten the FBI wants to make a federal case out of it. And there’s only one way to make the case disappear: get rid of Harold Dodge.

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Low Rider (Fiction; Thriller)

“Car noir” sequel to Bird Dog.

Life continues to throw Harold Dodge some wicked cures. Vikki Covo, widow of Harold’s former boss at the car dealership, is angling for a million-dollar settlement on her husband’s life insurance policy. If Harold negotiates the settlement, he’ll get 10 percent plus Vikki’s gratitude. Vikki is one of those wicked curves in the shape of a dollar sign. The problem: the police are treating Joe Covo’s death as a suicide, meaning no payout on the insurance. And when Harold suggests the cops rule it a homicide instead, they’re all too willing to oblige, figuring him as their number-one suspect. Staring a murder rap in the face, Harold must descend into a rogue’s gallery of low-riding gangbangers, car thieves, chop-shop operators, and collection agents. Worst of all, the bad guys have sunk to a new low: they’ve stolen his Impala and stripped it for parts. Harold’s going to find his Chevy and put it back together…even if it means going to hell and back in Vikki’s four-cylinder rice-burner.

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The Marquis de Fraud (Fiction – Thriller)

San Francisco thoroughbred horse trainer Cliff Dante figures his luck is turning — he has a fast horse and two new clients to back his action. What he doesn’t know is, one of his clients is a con man and a killer. The Marquis de Fraud the story of an international chase for a winning racehorse. And it’s also about three friends, a lightning fast colt and a scheme to make them all rich.

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Ponga Boy (Fiction; Young adult novel)

Written with Phil Lebherz, Ponga Boy is a young adult novel about a Mexican teenager who leaves his small village and becomes a college soccer superstar. Pichu is the best soccer player anyone in the little Mexican town has ever seen. While on vacation, an American soccer coach sees the teenager score a gravity-defying goal in a local game. He offers Pichu a scholarship to play for University of San Francisco’s underdog team. Pichu leaves his family and the security of his idyllic fishing village and finds himself in a jarringly different environment. At first his skills seem unsuited to the cutthroat competition of a college team. But then a mysterious visitor who sees him practicing alone at night helps him develop the “unstoppable shot.” Ponga Boy is both an exciting sports story and a poignant look at America through the eyes of someone from a very different culture.

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Free Throw; 7 Steps to Success on the Free Throw Line (Non-fiction; sports)

On November 15, 1993, a white-haired, 72-year-old gentleman named Dr. Amberry stepped up to the free throw line and into the Guinness Book of World Records by sinking 2,750 shots in a row. He ended his 12-hour streak without a miss, stopping only because they had to close the gym for the night. In Free Throw, Amberry reveals his secrets. Beginning with the proper mechanics of the shot, he then explains the importance of the mental game and shares his techniques to help players stay on target even while under pressure. Combining these mental and physical elements, he presents a unique and straightforward 7-step method that teaches readers how to become a 90% free throw shooter. Free Throw is the only book to address this important skill. Clearly written, with principles that are easy to put into practice, it is an indispensable manual for all basketball players and coaches.

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In Search of the Greatest Golf Swing (Non-fiction/biography; sports)

“Can you teach an ordinary golfer like me to drive the ball 300 yards?” With this question sportswriter Philip Reed’s search for the greatest golf swing begins. When Reed met ninety-year old Mike Austin, he knew that Austin held the record for the longest drive ever—an awesome 515-yard shot during a Senior PGA event. What he didn’t know is that he was forging a bond with a man whose amazing life he has now chronicled in a book that is charming, funny, and wise. As Reed’s tutelage under his cantankerous teacher begins, he learns of Austin’s winning wagers on trick shots, sharing a Hollywood apartment with Errol Flynn; giving secret lessons to Howard Hughes; and matching shots against Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. As Reed’s drives get longer, Austin’s health worsens. Mike soon suffers a stroke that silences him, but Reed is sure that Mike wants someone to tell his story—of a man who could do one thing better than anyone else, who possessed the most prodigious golf swing ever. This book is not just for golfers, but for all readers who savor heartwarming stories of unexpected friendships and are eager to learn secrets of living life to the fullest.

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Candidly, Allen Funt; A Million Smiles Later (Biography)

An engaging autobiography of America’s self-proclaimed provocateur and creator or the first reality TV show. With the help of writer Philip Reed, Funt describes his humble beginnings and influences of careers of the parade of stars on his show such as Woody Allen and Mickey Mantle. For nearly 50 years, Candid Camera has been a treasured American institution. From the 1947 radio program, Candid Microphone, Allen Funt’s simple idea became the first TV show on the ABC Network in 1948. It has since run on all three networks and Funt has become an American Icon.

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