eet Jimmy Hanlon. It’s summer, 1987. Jimmy’s a closeted bisexual in his late forties, nine months removed from a laryngectomy, and in this first part of a trilogy, he’s anxious to find a new identity in his Jersey Shore hometown. He hitches his hopes to a 33 year old lifeguard. The two cruise into summer with an assortment of boardwalk denizens and bar hounds. When they both fall for the same pretty nurse, the ride starts to get bumpy. In Jimmy’s story of redemption, dreams, familial and romantic love, misogamy and prejudice, accommodation and empathy, he discovers that the real victories occur in the small, courageous moments of our lives that overcome societal and personal prejudice.
n the Trilogy's second novel, Jimmy travels a harsh road back from Key West to Belmar. Old suspicions are confirmed, party bars turn ugly, and a bizarre tragedy marks the summer's turning point. Ronny, June's companion, becomes July's antagonist. As Jimmy tries to accommodate Alice, and despite old and new heartaches, he attains his dream job, finds touching rapport with a surrogate daughter, and reconnects with his perceptive, gutsy self.
he Missing You in Belmar, NJ trilogy concludes with Summer Mirrors. Change dominates the five main characters and brings their orbits ever closer to their common sun—resilience. As Labor Day approaches, Jimmy strives for mended familial relationships and respect. But summer's chicanery isn't quite done. With the harsh reality of autumn looming, he realizes empathy doesn't need a common last name, courage can be a silent partner, and redemption doesn't need to be acknowledged by others—only by the man in the mirror.
eet Jimmy Hanlon. It’s summer, 1987. Image is everything in his Jersey Shore hometown. Jimmy hasn’t kept up. An overweight grandfather in his late forties, he’s lost a cancerous larynx, and on top of that, A.I.D.S. has spiked fears of anyone with a questionable sexual history. In a search for companionship, he encounters a blur of bars, prejudice, familial and romantic love, misogamy, and lies. Throughout his redemptive summer, Jimmy’s empathy reveals how individual compassion trumps social mores and why a heart’s yearning owes no explanation.
rom Mick Bennett, author of The Belmar Trilogy, comes a new insight into the lives of those of the Belmar region. Beat the Blues focuses on the lives of Katie Kline and Ronny Hopkins. Katie Kline, a hip, introspective eighteen year old, spins classic blues records and reads Susan Sontag. Rebellious next-door neighbor Ronny Hopkins loves everything about her. A Polaroid photo launches them on a tempestuous, romantic odyssey stretching from the Kent State shootings to the first iPhone. They discover human hearts seldom rest. Regret and resentment derail them—while Katie is lambasting Nixon and trailing John and Yoko for the Village Voice, Ronny is notching saves and sex partners on his Jersey Shore lifeguard stand. But sometimes memories can become realities, and after twenty years, a reunion offers hope. Old and new love letters, dog napping, zany fisticuffs, tattooed millennials, and renewed passion have them scrambling for one last chance.