New Releases



Exciting volleyball action is just a turn of the page away – The summer will never be over again.
Michael Delaney was tired of living with the wolves. Orphaned at a young age by a mysterious car explosion, he had grown up the adopted son of a vicious small-time crime family. Forced to learn their treacherous ways in order to survive, Michael never felt he belonged. In his heart he knew there was a better way. His real parents had taught him that. Desperate and determined, he concocts a scheme to leave his life of crime behind him forever. But something goes terribly wrong. Michael’s attempt at escape ends in a fiery disaster from which he is burned beyond recognition. He wakes up months later with a new face, a new identity, and no memory of his previous life.
BURNING SAND follows Michael into his new life as pro Beach Volleyball champion Quinton Squid. It is the early 1990’s, and the sport is entering a new heyday.
As Michael struggles to live up to the dead man’s legendary stature, he walks a tightrope of celebrity, trepidation, and a budding relationship with his former adversary, women’s number one player Holly O’Connor. Coming to grips with his innermost demons, he strives to create a new self with which he can live, all the while unaware that the dark forces of his past are closing in behind him. His struggle brings him to a standoff from which there can be no turning back – the knowledge of what really happened to his parents, his true identity, and his very life hang in the balance…
From the dimly-lit alleyways of Boston’s North End to the sun-drenched beaches of Southern California, BURNING SAND is the action-packed, soul-awakening journey of a man who discovers who he is, only after forgetting who he thought he was.
BURNING SAND is the first novel from R.J. Ruggiero, a screenwriter and playwright living near Boston. R.J. has written and developed screenplays for the Academy Award-winning producers of Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, and Ender’s Game, and was a comedy writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


ISBN: 978-097041355-0
ISBN: 978-097041357-4
Size: 5.25 x 8 Inches (US)
Pages: 369 pp.

Praise & Reviews

“Absorbing, compulsively readable. A terrific synthesis of intrigue and finely-crafted sports action. It brings the reader into a subculture rarely if ever seen in fiction, in a way that’s as entertaining as it is original. Exciting and heartfelt, quirky and compelling, it’s the perfect beach book. I highly recommend it.”
- Gene Lavanchy, WFXT-TV
“The bright sun burns through this unique adventure thriller, as dark comedy and Olympic sport weave stories within stories. Action and mystery on and off the burning court …(a) read for all in volleyball and sports.”
- John Kessel, USA Volleyball
USA Volleyball Hall of Famer
“A spell-binding story…wonderfully defined characters, strong and complex, and makes the reader care about them. The book moves along at an easy pace…good dialogue, nowhere is the contrast between Old World Boston and the hip California beach scene more apparent than in the slang-filled exchanges between players.”
- Chris Young, contr. Yankee Magazine
“Engrossing…follows the admirable tradition of good mystery writing- know your subject so well that your reader learns and becomes interested in an area of life - such as beach volleyball - that they previously were ignorant of. I think I’ll Google who the current volleyball champs are.”
- Arts Critic, Pulitzer-Prize winning Lawrence Eagle-Tribune
Scroll to Top



9/29/23 - 9/30/23

Download Your Free Copy of BURNING SAND Now & Enter