Attention all sports moms and anyone who has endured the competitive world of kids’ sports, Jami Deise has penned the perfect book for your next bleacher read. Not that you’d ever consider sticking your nose in a book when your little darling is at bat, oh, no. You’d never do THAT …
When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints.
And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself. In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE.
Sam swung big at the first pitch he saw. The ball soared up and over the outfield fence.
Sam trotted around the bases, a huge grin on his face. The Rockets parents screamed and shrieked. All of Sam’s teammates met him at home plate – a replay from yesterday.
“Wow, Shannon,” Jennifer said. “Sam’s the hero again.” She looked happy, but her voice sounded brittle.
The pitcher on the opposing team was crying. His teammates were deserting him. My heart broke for him.
Then something happened that made my heart soar. Sam left the celebration and went over to the pitcher. He whispered something in his ear and patted him on the back. I was too far away to hear what he said, but it must have done the trick. The pitcher wiped off his face, straightened up and walked off the field.
“What did you say to him?” I asked Sam as we loaded his baseball equipment into the back of the car.
“I told him that the only reason I hit a homer is because he throws the ball so hard. The harder it goes in, the harder it comes out. And that even Stephen Strasburg has homers hit off him. Are we going for ice cream?”
“Yeah, the whole team’s meeting at Sprinkles.”
Sam climbed in. I headed back to the driver’s side.
The coach of the opposing team was waiting there. And he wasn’t half-bad looking, either. I quickly glanced down. No wedding ring, but that didn’t mean anything. He was coaching a baseball team. He could have taken off the ring to keep it clean.
“Your son’s quite a ball player,” he said.
I could hear that all day, but asking him to elaborate would sound weird.
“Not just the home run and the plays at first, but what he said to Eli, too.”
He did elaborate! “Is Eli your son?”
He nodded. Stuck out his hand. “Mike Corrigan.”
A car horn blared. My horn. I turned around. Sam was in the driver’s seat, motioning at me.
“I won’t keep you,” Mike said. “I just wanted to know whether Sam is on a summer team yet.”
Sam honked again.
“I take it that means no,” Mike said. He pressed a business card in my hand. “Here’s my email address. When you’re done with the ice cream, send me a note. I’d love to have him.”
Mike waved and walked off. I climbed into the car.
“What did he want?” Sam asked.
“Something about a summer team…”
“Summer baseball? Only the best players play summer baseball!”
“But Sam… you have camp and swim team, and we’re going to the beach.”
“I want to play baseball on a summer team, Mom,” Sam said with more passion than I’d ever heard from him. “That’s real baseball. Those kids play in tournaments and get uniforms with their names on them. That’s what I want to do.”
“Okay, then. I’ll email Coach Corrigan and tell him you accept.”
Little did I know, my life had just changed forever.
Thank you, Jami, for stopping by my book blog to share your first novel with us. The next time I’m yelling from the bleachers at my son’s baseball game (yelling in a good way, a polite way, of course!), I’ll stop long enough to tell the other parents about you and KEEPING SCORE. I’m sure it won’t be long before your book rounds the bases with parents in line at the concession stand. Now that it’s available for purchase by readers everywhere, let’s “Plaaaaaaay Ball!”
About Author Jami Deise: A lifelong resident of Maryland, Jami Deise recently moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, along with her husband Tom, son Alex, and dog Lady. A baseball mom for over 10 years, “Keeping Score” is her first novel. Jami is an associate reviewer at www.chicklitcentral.com and a generalist reader for an NYC-based literary agency. Along with women’s fiction, she loves all things horror and watches too much TV.
Visit Jami Deise at the these social media sites:Follow @Julie_Valerie