by Clay Cormany
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: November 4th 2014
What does a high school boy do if he thinks the girl of his dreams will be an assistant for the softball team his mother coaches? Easy! He volunteers to be an assistant, too. That’s what Jace Waldron does in Fast-Pitch Love. It might be his only chance to make a move on Stephanie Thornapple while her boyfriend is away. But Jace’s plans go awry, and soon he faces the double challenge of coaching a team of mischievous preteen girls and learning there is more to romance than physical attraction.
He took a couple of practice swings before shouting, “Get ready!”
“Don’t hit it too hard,” said Dana, repeating her earlier plea.
Jace first punched out a soft roller that Angela scooped up. “Nice job,” he said, as she heaved the ball back to him.
Again he hit the ball on the ground – somewhat harder. Kay reached for the ball, bobbled it, but kept it in front of her.
“Good, at least you didn’t let it go under your legs,” Jace said.
“Hit it in the air,” barked Lauren, pounding her glove.
“Yeah, hit in the air,” chimed in Phoebe.
“In a minute,” Jace answered. “You still need practice with these grounders.”
His third hit ball was harder still, and it changed direction after striking a clump of grass. But it posed no big problem for Tina, who snared the spinning sphere with ease and threw it back with laser-like precision.
“Nice, one Tina,” Jace said.
“Yeah, great job little sis,” a female voice exclaimed behind him.
Jace needed just one second to realize that although this voice was familiar, it did not belong to Sylvia, his mother, or any member of the Valkyries. It took another second for him to spin around and much less than a second for his heart to do a somersault as his eyes fell on the exquisite figure of Stephanie Thornapple. She carried a canvas tote and wore a blue-and-white two-piece bathing suit that accented every alluring feature of her body.
Tina stared at her sister in surprise. “Are you going to watch the practice?” she asked.
“Maybe later,” she said. “I have to go over to the pool first.” She looked at Jace for a few seconds before walking away.
Whether it was the surprise of Stephanie’s appearance or the surge of desire from seeing her in that bathing suit, a blast of adrenaline shot through Jace, and the next ball he hit came off the bat like a howitzer shot. It dipped, struck the ground, and then flew up and caromed off Heather’s knee. From there, it went toward Dana’s head and smacked her above the nose, splitting her glasses into two parts. Even after wreaking such havoc, the ball still had enough momentum to strike Lauren in the shoulder and bring tears to her eyes. The other two girls were also wailing. While Dana groped in the grass, trying to locate her smashed glasses, Heather pointed an accusing finger at him.
“You stupid dope,” she said between sobs. “You hit it too hard.”
“I – I – I’m sorry,” Jace stammered. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“That’s because you’re a big poop head,” said Lauren, who rubbed her wounded shoulder.
About the Author:
Before writing Fast-Pitch Love, Clay Cormany spent over 20 years as a writer and editor for Ohio’s State Board of Education. His creative work has appeared in numerous central Ohio publications, including the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College’s literary magazine. He has also edited numerous books, including a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS. Fast-Pitch Love reflects the two years Cormany spent interacting with softball players and coaches both in practice and competition. He contributes the earnings from sale of the book to girls softball programs in central Ohio and elsewhere.