Online LGBT serial ‘The River City Chronicles’ is set in Sacramento

The River City Chronicles by J. Scott Coatsworth
The River City Chronicles by J. Scott Coatsworth

Sacramento-based website designer J. Scott Coatsworth has been writing since he was in grade school. As an adult, one of his most recent projects is the LBGT-oriented “The River City Chronicles,” which he describes as “a magical realism tale set in my hometown.” Read it for free at

The concept is evocative of novelist Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City,” the serial that ran weekdays in the San Francisco Chronicle beginning in 1976 and immortalized the fictitious address 28 Barbary Lane. Maupin appeared for The Bee Book Club in 2010.

Coatsworth describes the plot of his serial this way: “Matteo and Diego, a couple from Italy, have moved to Sacramento to run Ragazzi, the restaurant of Matteo’s late uncle, but are almost out of money.

“Carmelina has lost her husband and is looking for a new direction in life. Marcos is tired of playing the field, and Marissa may give him a reason to change his life. Ben is looking for the right girl. And Sam and Brad are adjusting to living together for the first time. Everyone has their secrets.

“Something has brought them all together for a cooking class at Ragazzi, where the class will work its magic on each of them in different ways. The city of Sacramento is the playground for all the drama, and almost a character in its own right.”

Stories on stage

Stories on Stage is a literary series in which local actors perform authors’ short works. Appearing will be Maureen O’Leary for her short story “Ghost Daughter,” to be read by Elise Marie Hodge. Joining her will be Krista Minard for her story “Resurgence,” to be read by Victoria Goldblatt.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R streets, Sacramento. A $10 donation is suggested. More at

Getting ‘Lost’

“The Lost Girls” by Heather Young joins the ongoing library of trending “Girl” books, which began with “Gone Girl” and continued with “The Girl On the Train,” “The Perfect Girl” and the like. Young’s debut novel (William Morrow, $26, 352 pages; on sale Friday, July 26) opens in 1935 at a vacation lake house, where a child has vanished. The fallout over the decades destroys lives and families, until a new owner moves in. Then things get worse.