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Top Amazon reviewer gives The Pitcher Five Stars

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on Top Amazon reviewer gives The Pitcher Five Stars

Grady Harp one of the top fifty Amazon reviewers just gave The Pitcher a five star review.

William Hazelgrove continues to `bat a thousand’ with this, his latest impressive novel, THE PITCHER. He so very well understands a child’s point of view and the adult response and all the friction, love, agony, passion, and joy and disappointment that the interaction between these apparent poles implies. He has the gift of writing honestly and with utter conviction about relationships between youngsters and adults, showing us the true proximity between the nascent mind yearning for the seasoning of the adult and the polar end of the adult who dreams of the innocence of childhood. He makes it magical, he makes is real, he makes it immensely satisfying to read.
Hazelgrove takes on a new topic in this book – the immigration and education and conflicts that face the Hispanic population in this country, acknowledging the racial prejudices from both sides of that too high border, and yet dealing with those issues with the same sensitivity that propels all the stories of his novels. This is a timely book that embraces America’s favorite pastime (baseball), the struggle of Mexican families both from within and from the outside, the shell of once famous people who lose career and loved ones and bury themselves in attempting to forget by what ever measures, the shaky strength of single parent households, and the germ of following dreams to their promise of success.
Very briefly, THE PITCHER relates the tale of a young Mexican lad who has the gift of a pitcher’s arm, but seems unable to achieve entry into the high school level baseball team because of his questionable legal status of immigration. His mother, stricken with lupus erythematosis, is determined to help her son become a famous baseball player, knowng that he needs professional coaching, and after much negotiation engages the mysterious old ex-pitcher across the street – a man of great fame who lives in his garage unable to recover from his ended career and the loss of his wife. How the drive of the boy, the even stronger motivation of the mother, and the gradual coming out of his shell of the Pitcher meet to achieve resolution of their dreams and create a transformation of their lives is the theme that plays well to the last page.
William Hazelgrove continues to entertain and inspire with each new book. He has that ability to see the intricacies of human interaction and express them in a way that makes his ideas and the telling of those ideas completely visible. Grady Harp, August 13

 

The Pitcher on Amazon Bestseller List for Hispanic Fiction

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on The Pitcher on Amazon Bestseller List for Hispanic Fiction

The story of a Mexican American boy with a  golden arm who gets coached by broken down World Series Pitcher to make the highschool team has stayed on the top 100 Bestseller list for Hispanic fiction on Amazon.

The Pitcher, is a classic story of baseball, the price of dreams, and the lessons of life. A mythic baseball story about a broken down World Series Pitcher is mourning over the death of his wife and an underprivileged Mexican-American boy who lives across the street and wants to learn to pitch. This is a mainstream contemporary novel about dreams lost and found. In the great tradition of books like, The Natural. This is a novel with the mythic themes, readability, and appeal to be a mainstream bestseller.

The Junior Library Guild Selection for fall has been garnering rave reviews. http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1938467590

Book Chase Review: The Pitcher is one of my favorite reads of the Summer

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on Book Chase Review: The Pitcher is one of my favorite reads of the Summer

Whether they will admit it or not, most guys still react to a heart-tugging baseball novel the same way they reacted to one when they were kids. Almost every boy, at one time or another – even if only for a moment – has probably dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, and in my day, that usually meant dreaming of major league baseball. And, reliving those dreams for a day or two via a good baseball novel is still quite a kick for guys like us. The Pitcher, William Hazelgrove’s new novel allowed me to escape into that world again for a little while last week.
Ricky Hernandez is a kid with an arm. Not yet in high school, Ricky is already throwing a baseball a consistent 74 miles an hour. And, on those rather rare occasions he gets the ball over the plate, he is pretty much unhittable in his youth league. The problem is that opposing coaches know how wild he is and they give the take sign to even their best hitters when Ricky is not on his game. The results are predictable.
Ricky’s mom, fighting an illness that has the potential to prove fatal, knows that her son has the natural ability to be special if only he can learn to control his pitches. Because the boy’s father is no longer living with the family, she diligently relies on books and diagrams to coach Ricky – a strategy that most definitely is not working. But desperate times call for desperate measures (as the cliché goes), and she decides to grab the attention of the former World Series MVP who hibernates across the street in his garage. She knows that if Ricky does not make his high school team in the open tryouts that are just a few weeks away he might never played organized baseball again. It is not going to be easy, however, even if she does get some MVP coaching.
The Pitcher is one of my favorite reads of the summer, a summer during which I needed to find something about baseball to feel good about again because of the doping scandals and the sheer awfulness of my hometown team. William Hazelgrove has done it. I am pleased to find that my love of the game is as deep as ever; it only took The Pitcher to rekindle it.
Bottom Line: The Pitcher may be labeled as a YA novel, but readers will not really notice or care about that. The book also touches on issues not related to baseball that impact Ricky’s life – especially alcoholism and living in America as the first generation child of an “illegal alien.” There is a lot going on here. Baseball fans, this one is for you. ( )

The Pither hits the #10 spot in Literature for Hispanics and #48 in baseball

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on The Pither hits the #10 spot in Literature for Hispanics and #48 in baseball

The Pitcher the story of a Mexican American boy with a golden arm and a broken down World Series Pitcher who coaches him to make the highschool team has already hit the #10 spot in Literature for Hispanics on Kindle and #48 for baseball books. A Junior Library Guild Selection for fall The Pitcher is already picking up steam a month before it is released.

Back List Kindle Sale: Hazelgrove’s Tobacco Sticks and Mica Highways Southern Mysteries $1.99

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on Back List Kindle Sale: Hazelgrove’s Tobacco Sticks and Mica Highways Southern Mysteries $1.99

Tobacco Sticks is now on sale for 1.99 Kindle Download. http://www.amazon.com/Tobacco-Sticks-ebook/dp/B001UHNI9C/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

The highly reviewed Courtroom drama reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird was a Book of the Month Club Selection and optioned for a movie. A young African American woman is wrongly accused of steal from a neighbor and Burke Hartwell takes her case in the sleepy town of Richmond Virginia in 1946. Shades of A Time To Kill and other great Southern dramas this starred review winner (PW) is a great summer read…

Mica Highways is a murder mystery taking place in Virginia in the year 1968. When a Southern white woman is found with a hired hand and then mysteriously disappears her son comes back to Virginia forty years later to find out what happened.  Highly reviewed and full of Gothic Southern atmosphere. http://www.amazon.com/Mica-Highways-ebook/dp/B005GL5KDU/ref=sr_1_2_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375384732&sr=1-2

Top Amazon Reviewer Charles Ashbacher Five Star Review of The Pitcher

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in General News | Comments Off on Top Amazon Reviewer Charles Ashbacher Five Star Review of The Pitcher

http://www.amazon.com/review/R31ZUBO3RLUNR3/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00DMOO3RM&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

While the theme is about baseball, the story is about life, the struggles, major setbacks that we all face and then being able to triumph and emerge victorious. Hazelgrove is an excellent writer, he uses situations to evoke powerful emotions in the reader, and you find yourself rooting for the characters while at times you want to give them a virtual slap in the face and yell, “Get your head out!” Ricky is a Hispanic boy growing up in Chicago and while he is otherwise nondescript, he has a whip for a pitching arm. Ricky lives with his mother (Maria) and they are struggling financially, his father (Fernando) only comes around when he wants money. Fernando is also a violent man that does not hesitate to punch Maria or Ricky. Never having had a coach or any other training, Ricky has no idea how to pitch; he has the raw talent but does not know how to properly channel it. Ricky also has inherited his temper from his parents, he is easily rattled while he is pitching and his opponents know this and use it against him. Jack Langford (the Pitcher) lives close to Ricky and he was the World Series hero in 1978, pitching his team to victory. After his wife died, Jack collapsed and now all he does is sit in his garage, drinking beer, smoking, dipping Skoal and watching baseball on television. Ricky’s mother is a very determined woman that has no fear of anyone so she goes over and asks the Pitcher if he will coach Ricky. She is not a person that it is easy to say no too, so the Pitcher agrees. The path after this is strewn with many virtual pieces of flesh as Jack seems unable to rise above his chosen path of very slow self-destruction. There are times when it appears that he is going to channel his winning talents to Ricky, turning him into a true pitcher while helping Maria overcome her difficulties as well. The writing is so good that the reader is emotionally grabbed and truly cares what happens to Jack, Ricky and Maria. There are some passages that are so good that I reread them two or three times just to savor the intensity of the feelings, not all of them good, that reading those segments generated. (I reread a few of them while writing this review.” This is a sports book that could be placed in the romance section and outperform many books that have “romance” on the cover.