Brandi Braden, head coach of the San Fernando University women’s basketball team, has a lot going for her. Her abilities to lead the girls and her appearance have attracted the media’s attention, not to mention Athletic Director Jim Hathaway’s. Plus, it looks like her team, the Tigers, have a good chance to make it all the way to the finals.
But that isn’t enough for Coach Braden. Her quiet loathing for all men took hold when she was in junior high thanks to two of her brother’s friends. And when she sees how her friend Valerie is living—driving an expensive sports car and living in a luxurious condo—Brandi begins to wonder if there’s more to life.
After all, basketball can be a dangerous sport. Two of her team members—one being star point guard Rose Raymond—have suffered concussions in the first two games of the season. Their injuries send Coach Braden to the drawing board, where she comes up with a radical invention. She knows what it’s like to suffer the long-term effects of a concussion and wants to ensure it doesn’t happen to any more of the Tigers.
The new headgear isn’t the only radical idea that crosses her mind. Although her friend Val’s new line of work shocks Brandi at first, she begins to reconsider. After all, it seems like a sure thing. Plus, she won’t be crossing the line—at least not from her perspective. And the victims? Well, they deserve what’s coming to them. And the double life she will lead actually sounds like fun—and what an adventure it will be!
As it turns out, not everyone sees things the way she does. Brandi finds herself beaten and bloodied. Who knew she was infringing on territory controlled by organized crime? And who knew she and Val had become the subjects of a police investigation?
Lying alone in the hospital, her life forever changed, Brandi turns to the radio for company. What she hears will change the course of her life yet again—even more dramatically.
While Brandi’s life takes one unexpected turn after another, the Tigers’ Assistant Coach, Emily Hanson, steps in to fill the gap. Her ability to direct the girls athletically and spiritually makes a positive difference. When word of Coach Braden’s criminal activity reaches the powers that be, Emily is named head coach.
This is not what she had in mind, and when Brandi gets in touch, Emily tells her so. But that’s not why the former coach is calling. There is something far more important on her mind, and she turns to Emily for answers.
While things don’t turn out the way she expects, Coach Braden’s invention does change women’s basketball for the better—preventing who knows how many future injuries. From living in the limelight to hiding in the shadows, Brandi Braden learns there is more to life than winning championships, driving fast cars, and living in luxury. A different kind of excitement and adventure await her. Both Brandi Braden’s and Emily Hanson’s lives are forever changed—for the better.
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About the Author
Ron Stout was raised in Los Angeles, California, and earned his BA in pre-medicine at Occidental College. Following two Korean tours as a navy officer on a destroyer, he attended LIFE Bible College, majoring in biblical Greek and theology and graduating with a BTh. With children arriving, Ron worked in a corporate office in Los Angeles while attending USC in the evening as a graduate student in the School of Business. Ron and his family then moved to San Diego County, where Ron spent 21 years in the stock market as a broker, a branch manager of an NYSE member firm, and an independent registered investment advisor. Many of the experiences in Fireflies occurred while Ron and his wife, Corinne, were living on their beautiful ranch in Julian, California. They then moved to Arizona, where Ron studied agriculture at the University of Arizona. The Stouts plunged into apple orchards and the Cider Mill, a highly visible retail operation on Interstate 10 at Willcox, Arizona, for 22 years. Today, Ron and Corinne have retired on their Arizona ranch. Their daughter, Robin, and her family live nearby.