About the Books

On The Right Path Book Series

Co-authored with NBA Coach Brett Gunning

“The On The Right Path book series is one that should be read in every household. The life lessons shared through entertaining stories of basketball and faith are invaluable to young minds.” – Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church

“The On The Right Path book series is a slam dunk! The stories are rich with important lessons that kids will enjoy reading. It belongs in every home.” – Mike D’Antoni, NBA Coach

“The On The Right Path books belong in every school, library, and home, as they teach invaluable life lessons to children in an entertaining and relatable way.” – Kevin McHale, NBA Hall of Famer

Join Jayden, Jordan, their little sister Jasmine, and their friend Shai as the group experiences their first basketball camp and learns lessons about life along the way. Parents will love this uplifting book, which encourages children to love others and teaches the importance of making people feel welcome and loved. 

NBA Coach Brett Gunning and award-winning author Stacy Padula have teamed up to create the On The Right Path (OTRP) book series. OTRP is also a non-profit organization created by Brett Gunning to guide inner-city youth on the right path to achieving their maximum potential through education, mentorship, and basketball skill development. The core principles of OTRP are guidance, inspiration, and creativity. The book series focuses on six life-skill pillars: Loving Others, Being Unselfish, Staying Healthy & Strong, Showing Respect, Showing Forgiveness, and Having Fun.


Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.” – LaTonya Pinkard from Netflix’s Emmy Winning Docuseries Last Chance U

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.


Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

“What other drugs have you tried?” Lisa asked.

“Weed, mushrooms, ecstasy, mescaline, acid, Adderall, Xanax, Klonopin, and Vicodin, but this one is, by far, the best,” Chris replied without any hesitation.

Lisa widened her eyes. “Wow. You’ve tried a lot of stuff since we broke up.”

Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.

After hosting a party, Chris wakes up with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.


Gripped Part 3: The Fallout

After a near-death experience, Chris Dunkin begins surrounding himself with positive influences and putting his efforts towards living a clean lifestyle. However, the night before school starts, his best friend Jason convinces him to host a party that shows Chris more about himself than he actually wants to know.

Eighteen-year-old Marc Dunkin has received word from a detective that his oldest brother Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential case headed by the Boston Police Department. They know Taylor’s clean; they know he wants out of the game; and they want to help make that happen. However, their “help” will come at a cost—one that may put Taylor and his entire family in grave danger.

Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Dunkin is trying to get his life back in order after an opiate addiction wreaked havoc on his once promising athletic future. Getting clean was a difficult feat, but breaking free from the Bilotti crime ring will present an even greater challenge.




Gripped Part 4: Smoke & Mirrors

Taylor Dunkin is used to high stakes. As an NCAA star quarterback, he performed under pressure to lead his team to victory, but his football career came to an abrupt halt when an injury sent him spiraling down a dark hole of pain, depression, and addiction. Now he finds himself playing a game with even higher stakes because his life, his reputation, and the safety of everyone he loves are all on the line.

Taylor’s two younger brothers, Jordan and Marc, have been at odds for years, but they are brought together to decipher the mysterious clues Taylor is leaving regarding his whereabouts. As secrets are revealed, the Dunkin boys’ relationships will be changed forever.

In Taylor’s weakest moment, he made a deal with the devil, and now there is a reckoning. But who will pay the price?


Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

Growing up in the shadow of two NFL-destined cousins, Chris Dunkin has high hopes for his own future in football. However, a drug addiction threatens to destroy everything he has worked hard to attain. When Chris meets Courtney Angeletti–the mayor’s straightedge Christian daughter–he believes she could be the source of inspiration he needs to overcome his destructive lifestyle.

Courtney, however, has other ideas.

The desire to rebel has been tugging on Courtney’s heartstrings for some time, and Chris’s “bad-boy” reputation draws her to him like a moth to a flame. After all, he is a central part of the most popular clique in her high school. Will Chris pull Courtney away from her faith or will Courtney inspire him to overcome his rebellious lifestyle?


Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide

Jason Davids has not slept in thirty-seven hours. He glances at his clock: 7:20 p.m.

You can do this, Jason, he says to himself. Just get up and go. Go tell them the truth. Tell everyone at Alyssa’s party that you found Andy’s body. Tell them that he looked dead. Tell them about the horror in Chantal’s eyes when she came rushing up the stairs. Make sure you tell them that it is all your fault.

One day after a tornado strikes Montgomery, Massachusetts, Andy Rosetti is in a coma with life-threatening injuries. Jason Davids and Chris Dunkin devise a plan to help Andy and unite the students at Montgomery Lake High School. However, no one—not even Chris—knows Jason’s secret about the day of the storm.


Montgomery Lake High #3: The Aftermath

At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have nearly any worldly thing that promises enjoyment at his disposal. Despite this, there is a persistent emptiness inside his heart. After failing to fill the void with achievements, relationships, and illicit substances, Jason finds himself intrigued by Jessie Robins: the daughter of a local pastor. How is it possible that she stands for everything his lifestyle opposes yet possesses the one thing he has been searching for all along?


Montgomery Lake High #4: The Battle For Innocence

Jon Anderson and Chantal Kagelli are trying to live moral lives, but temptations are plaguing them in and out of school. Will they continue to be lights in their best friends’ lives or will they get pulled into the darkness?

“I would highly recommend this eye-opening book to any teen and any teen’s parent. The story demonstrates how important faith and spirituality can be to teens at this impressionable time in their lives. The teens who look to their faith to guide them through difficult situations have a much better outcome than those who do not.” – J. Dakoyannis


Montgomery Lake High #5: The Forces Within

After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secret passages and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities surrounding them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within the people surrounding him.