I’m always excited to greet the New Year, like you, too, probably, right?
There’s so much promise and excitement associated with a new beginning, and a whole new year presents, to me, almost unlimited possibilities! I can’t sleep!
BUT, this New Year’s Day is ultra-exciting for me, since”Praise of the Heart”, the third book in my Sterling Lakes Series is now out!
Tell me, what do you think of the cover art? I love to hear your comments!!! And tell me, too, what do you think of the story? I love your comments!
“Praise” is the story of a small-town boy who makes it BIG in the major leagues as a baseball player and a small-town girl who wants to stay in her comfort zone…but God seems to have other plans for both of them!
Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/v34ZJs
And here’s an excerpt:
As he viewed the scene in the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School picnic area, Cliff ‘Clean-Up’ Markham adjusted the brim of his baseball cap and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.
‘You brought me back here to Sterling Lakes, Lord, safe and sound again after another year and for that I give You thanks.’
He eyed the group of somber children sitting dutifully on the benches.
‘Not all of them are as fortunate as I am. I’ll never forget the gifts You gave me, and I will always praise You for them. But, come on, we’ve got to liven this place up. They need spirit. Your spirit, Lord. Help me impart the joy of your spirit to them. Amen.’
Bounding across the lush, green lawn on the long legs that had been his ticket to a career as a major league baseball outfielder, Cliff cried, “Play ball!”
Every head turned his way, and soon the lawn was a kaleidoscope of color and motion as the youngsters flew across the grass to him.
J.B. Norwood, head of the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School exclaimed, “It’s Cliff! It’s Cliff! He’s back! Hi there, Clean-Up!”
“Clean-Up!” A laughing group of children reached him, swarming him before any adults.
“There you are, Russell. Jeremy, whoa, you got tall. Hey, Margaret, how’ve you been? Say, Bucky, what’s up?”
“They call me Billy now,” the boy replied, kicking the ground.
“Right. Good to know.”
Cliff reviewed the sea of faces before him — some familiar to him and some new from last year’s session. In each one he read hope, youth, goodness… and a desperate need for direction and connection.
Then he saw her. Standing by the edge of the grass. Tall, wearing a blue dress. A vision like something from the pages of a magazine.
He smiled, and she walked towards him. Her long, dark hair swayed gracefully with her every rhythmical step. She was in her early twenties, he guessed. She smiled, and Cliff felt the ground shudder under him.
Beaming, she opened her arms and said, “Children, give Mr. Markham some room to breathe, okay? Why don’t we go sit together under the apple tree?”
“Miss Laurie, he’s here to play, not sit around,” came an instant protest.
“Russell, you have a good point. Let’s let our star attraction decide.” She tilted her head to one side and with a mischievous half-smile, fixed her gaze on Cliff.
Not many times in his twenty-six years had Cliff Markham been stopped short. Life to him was a big game — fun, baseball, travel, women. Good times seemed to flow his way with his natural charm and ease.
Until now. The challenge radiating from those dark brown eyes stopped him in his tracks, and right away he knew he was in big trouble.
He took a few steps towards her and held out his hand. “We haven’t been properly introduced, Miss Laurie. I’m Cliff Markham. From Sterling Lakes. I play baseball with Tampa Bay Stingrays these days.” He shrugged.