Backstop plays the catcher’s position for any team in any city in America with a major league ball club. You cheer him when he delivers, and boo him when he doesn’t. Told in his own words during the seventh game of the World Series in what could be his last game after fourteen years in the major leagues, Backstop chronicles his rookie season, takes the reader to Chicago where he finds romance, and reveals his heartbreak in the aftermath of an adulterous affair.
Cheer for Backstop on and off the field as he plays the most important game of his career—haunted by the ghost of his father who passed away before Backstop achieved stardom—and fights to win back the heart of the woman he loves more than the game.
Backstop was nominated a 2010 Michigan Notable Book, while the Lewis Department of Humanities at the Illinois Institute of Technology adopted it as required reading for their spring 2011 course, “Baseball: America’s Literary Pastime”.
Reviews: “Superbly crafted with a deft, tender touch, Backstop: A Baseball Love Story In Nine Innings is a compelling tale of following the true passions of the heart. A truly heartwarming read.” Reviewer: Apex Reviews
“Backstop’s a read where slow development contrasts with fastballs, slow plans with hurried mistakes, and slow reading with quickened excitement and delight. The dialog has a sweet old-fashioned feel, pleasant humor, and serious depth, and the whole is a seriously enjoyable tale.” Reviewer: Sheila Deeth-Author of Divide by Zero
“This is where J. Conrad Guest meets us in Backstop: in this beautiful, hopeful place closest to our hearts, where we play for the love of the game, and we love with everything we have.” Reviewer: Rachael Perry-Author of How to Fly
Paperback: 218 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Message from Author J. Conrad Guest:
“Welcome. If you’re reading these words, you have my thanks for finding me. A critic calls my work, “Gritty, entertaining… real. Romance for the non-romantic.”
Genre? What’s that? My characters face everyday obstacles: love (finding it), loss of love (ouch!), regret (who doesn’t have a few of those?), infidelity (from love to hate to compromise), death (the Grim Reaper recently visited me in a dream to tell me he was coming for me. “Great,” my dream self said. “You bring the whiskey and I’ll provide the cigars”), redemption (that transformation from the anti-hero the reader wants to like into the hero for whom they want to root), and more. I write about relationships between men and woman, and fathers and sons. Yet each character, although flawed and in some cases broken, is in their own way extraordinary. I write mainstream, non-traditional romance (Fabio will never grace the cover of one of my novels), and soft science fiction. I hope you’ll find here something that appeals to your literary appetite.
I was named Joseph Conrad for my dad’s favorite novelist.
As a boy my dream was to become a Major League Baseball player, but my parents had other ideas. They urged me to play it safe, to learn a trade, get a job with an automotive company, and retire in forty years with a gold watch. To me that was a prison sentence. I didn’t want to reach my current age wondering, What if?
I was creative and wanted to leave my mark on the world. How to go about achieving that dream perplexed me for many years, until I sat down to write my first novel. January’s Paradigm was born from a bloodied and bruised heart. What started as therapy for me turned into a passion. My dad often criticized me for not finishing what I started, and I was determined to finish a novel. When Dad read my second draft, after two years of labor, he was pleased.
While I geared up for submitting my child to agents and publishers I struggled for a name. A nom de plume was out of the question. I wanted to use “Conrad” but didn’t wish to be compared to the man who today is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I finally settled on J. Conrad Guest and have never regretted it.
My novels are available in brick and mortar bookstores and at Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.”
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