NEW YORK, N.Y. — People’s lives are filled with constant challenges and adversities. That’s why author Ricardo Estrada, founder of Tumi Publishing, has launched the first in a planned series of books that celebrates the human spirit – “Sticks of Fire: The Turning Point” (ISBN: 978-0979-675508).

“Sticks of Fire” is a fictional piece that inspires readers and illustrates how adversity can be overcome. It is the story of Orlando, the key character, and five halfway-house residents, a group of former high school and college basketball standouts – once rising stars, shot down by drugs and alcohol.

Orlando finds a job as a case manager at the Lighthouse Inn in Tampa, Fla., a recovery halfway house. While there, he and the residents, together, begin their road to recovery.

Sticks of Fire book The story opens to find Orlando unemployed, in a hopeless battle with alcohol that has isolated him from friends and family. Five years earlier, his pregnant wife died in an accident, and his inability to deal with the loss has plunged him into alcoholism and a deep depression; he sees no purpose in life.

When Orlando takes the job at the Lighthouse, he keeps his alcoholism a secret. He promises himself to quit drinking and to work for one year, before he leaves Tampa in search of a fresh start. But his abstinence plan does not work, and after a demoralizing relapse, he can no longer deceive himself. Having witnessed another way to live at the Lighthouse, he accepts recovery.

“Sticks of Fire” follows Orlando’s struggle with acceptance, his recovery, and his impact on those around him. While working at the Lighthouse, he experiences the healing power of helping others and rediscovers himself in the process.

Orlando quickly realizes the athletic talent of the former high school and college basketball stars and organizes a basketball team: “The Thunderbolts.” Making peace with the past, they embark on the road to redemption and the realization of shattered and forgotten dreams.

The novel demonstrates how, with the help of others, and a little faith, people can experience gratitude, look to the future with a sense of renewed hope, and leave the ghosts of the past behind.

The author, Ricardo, has a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and has worked as a rehabilitation and mental health counselor for several years in Tampa and New York; he has been an avid basketball fan all his life.

Ricardo’s inspiration for “Sticks of Fire” came from professional and personal experience. He was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, he lives in Manhattan where he is busy at work on his second novel in this inspirational and mainstream series.

“Sticks on Fire” is available in paperback for $14.00. It is 279 pages and can be purchased through the publisher’s web site at:

Valerie G, editor at CANW
Valerie G has been an editor with California Newswire for several years, is a gifted theremin player, can quote copious lines from 'Red Dwarf' and also knows where her towel is. Oddly, she does not drive, nor does she take the bus. She identifies as both human and democrat.