Two Dumb Jocks Releases Today!

July 18, 2014

I’m Jeff Erno, author of the Dumb Jock Series, and I’m excited to announce the release of book five, Two Dumb Jocks.

Two Dumb Jocks


Here’s the blurb:

Rejected by his family for coming out, Bryan Helverson boards a plane for Tampa, Florida, where he plans to attend college. Brett and Jeff’s family embrace him when he arrives, and his new “brothers,” Adam and Trevor, help him.


While playing tennis with Trevor at the country club, Bryan meets aspiring pro tennis player Greg Lewis. But after a few minutes it’s easy to see the arrogant jock is not on Bryan’s menu, and he quickly dismisses the man. Forgetting he ever met Greg is not an option, though, when Bryan is hired as a waiter at the country club’s restaurant, and Greg is assigned to train him. Unexpected romance blossoms just as Bryan discovers one of Greg’s ex-boyfriends also works at the restaurant.


Greg is not the person Bryan first took him for, though. His true ambition is to become a doctor. And as their romance grows serious, Bryan discovers Greg’s mom suffers from the same debilitating depression that plagues Bryan. Unfortunately, just as Bryan is making giant strides with managing his depression, Greg’s ex—as manipulative as he is abusive—takes a battered Bryan back to point A and threatens to destroy his relationship with Greg.


A few facts about the Dumb Jock Series:

-Dumb Jock was my very first work of fiction, and my original goal was simply to write a novel-length story that I might share with a few friends and family.  Upon completion, one of my friends urged me to share the story online, on a free amateur website. It was well received, and a few years later, I decided to publish it as my first novel.

-The reason I use my own name for the main character in book one is because the original story idea came from a slice of my life. As a high school student, I was a literary nerd who sometimes tutored other students. One of my pupils was a football jock named Bret. I harbored a wild, unrequited crush on him, but I never came out to him or confessed my true feelings. Years later, when I decided to start writing, I used that experience as the backdrop for my story, only I wrote my fiction with a happy ending.

-I still maintain contact with the real Bret (whose last name is different than the Brett in the story). He’s a very successful businessman who owns his own company, and he’s happily married with children. He has read the Dumb Jock story, and he gave it his thumbs up. He was deeply concerned that he might have bullied me back in high school, but I assured him it was quite the opposite. And he said he hopes the story can in some way help other gay youth during their coming out process.

-Book one ends with an epilogue in which Jeff and Brett are presented as a happily married couple with two children, a boy and a girl. Book two leaps forward in time to the present day and focuses on their son Adam, who also happens to be gay. Book three is about one of Adam’s friends named Todd. Book four returns to Boyne City (my hometown where the series started) and features a modern day teen athlete who comes out to the whole school when he accepts a led role in the school play, Dumb Jock, which is Jeff and Brett’s story. And book five is about another teen named Bryan, who recently graduated from high school and came out to his religious parents only to face rejection. Jeff and Brett invite him into their family.

-Each of the Dumb Jock books is an independent read, but characters from previous stories often make cameo appearances.

-Each of the books features a main character who is an athlete, and each story highlights a different sport. Book one features football; book two is about a baseball jock; book three highlights soccer; book four’s main character plays basketball, and book five features a tennis player.

-There will be one or two more stories in the series. The final book will be about Jeff and Brett again, and it will fill in all the gaps from the time they left Boyne City High School to the present day.

-All the stories are fiction, but each one contains pieces of my own life. Some of the characters are inspired by real-life loved ones or friends. Some of the themes embraced within the stories are contemporary issues such as coming out, bullying, domestic violence, depression, alcoholism, and sexual abuse.

-My goal has not been to present Jeff and Brett as a perfect, idyllic couple. Both are flawed, but they each grow and mature during the series.

-Two Dumb Jocks is the first book I’ve written where the main character battles chronic depression. I’ve often contemplated how much a person’s depressive episodes are triggered by tragedy and how much comes from within. In the story, I try to examine this question. Bryan makes tremendous strides in conquering his demons, but all his problems aren’t tidily solved. There is no reconciliation with his religious parents, for example. Sometimes we have to find our own happiness and accept that there are those who simply choose not to support us.

Tell me what you think!

I’d love to hear from readers who are fans of the series. Please share your questions or comments about any of the characters in books one through four, and I’ll provide a giveaway copy of Two Dumb Jocks to one lucky winner.

If you’re new to the series, please also leave a comment. I’d love to hear your opinion of the jock-nerd trope. Do you have any personal experience that relates to this theme? What do you think of nerdy guys? Are they sexy? Could a geek ever really be compatible with a competitive jock? I’ll pick one winner for a free copy of book one, Dumb Jock.


11 Responses to “Two Dumb Jocks Releases Today!”

  1. Ardent Ereader says:

    Hi Jeff, I have not read your series yet. I always enjoy the jock-nerd trope. In my experience in high school a few of the jocks I knew were secretly jealous of how smart the nerds were and wished they could do as well as in academics.I never went to my high school reunion but I always wonder how the jocks and nerds turned out as grownups.

  2. Sula says:

    I have this series on my wish list and I do enjoy the nerd and jock trope and yes I do believe opposites do attract and are therefore compatible. However one thing that does annoy me with this trope is that the jock is often played as not being intelligent and this (although it is true in some cases) from my experience is not true. As I know of quite a few successful business and philanthropists who were once sportsman.

    The frequent problem from my experience with friends and associates considered jocks, is that they have to hide their sexual preferences/relationship as they might loose sponsorship or their college grants if they come out. They were also encouraged to keep it secret until their career was established or they were near retirement.

    Yes I think nerdy guys can be sexy, especially in a well fitted suit and smart glasses :) As a female nerd I did know quite a few jocks at college and tutored a few and even went out with one.

    thank you for a chance to win the first in this series :)

  3. jefferno says:

    Ardent, I was a nerd in high school (still am, actually). And I’ve always loved the jock/nerd trope…both in erotica and general romantic fiction. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. jefferno says:

    I totally agree with you about the negative stereotype of jocks being unintelligent, hence the title of my series, Dumb Jock. But I hope you find that I don’t really think jocks are dumb, and I hope they are not perceived as such in my stories. Like I stated in the blog post, the jock I tutored ended up being very successful.

  5. Sula says:

    Hi Jeff, I think your book title may be considered possibly an oxymoron (another strange word don’t you think) and I often think jocks tend to put on the dumb attitude so they can fit in better and not be perceived as nerds. I also think so much pressure is put on them to be the best in their sport that academic studies are pushed aside as important. So sadly a lot of jocks do struggle especially if they do not get selected for a major team or do not get a sports sponsership

    I am happy you have quite a few books in the series and two more after this one. What book would you recommend of yours next, after I have worked through the Jock series :D

  6. jefferno says:

    My most popular Dreamspinner titles are Trust Me and We Danced. I would recommend either of them! If you like paranormal, try Left-Hand Path, which is another Dreamspinner release. And I have a new crime-detective mystery series starting in September.

  7. Sula says:

    Gosh, I better get reading the Jock series as I want to read the other titles and I also enjoy crime detective stories so plenty to look forward to reading.

    I was just reading your comments again and the topic of bullying, as your Bret was concerned that he may have bullied you and I often find that the person who ever was it position to bully, such as a jock, often does not remember who they bullied or if they stood back, but the person who was remembers every single detail.

    I like how you give the perspective from both sides, the issues jocks have as well as nerds and how the stories all interconnect in some way.

  8. ardent ereader says:

    Thanks for recommended some of your other books to also consider. With the ongoing DSP sale I have been buying quite a few books!

  9. Trix says:

    I adore geeks and jocks, for sure…and once in a blue moon there are geeky jocks, who are much sought-after!

  10. Gail says:

    After reading your blurb, I think that I’ll be buying this book if I’m not lucky enough to win, All the books in the series look interesting.

  11. H.B. says:

    Sounds like a wonderful series. I’ll definitely have to give it a read.

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