Would You Sell Your Soul For Another Chance at Fame? After high school baseball phenom JaMark Reliford suffers a career-ending injury in his final game, he makes the deal of a lifetime. A deal that gives him everything he wants, but could cost him everything he loves. Inspired by blues folklore and classic baseball fiction, Michael Lortz writes a new tale of fastballs and phantoms, strikeouts and second chances. 


Praise for curveball at the crossroads:


"Baseball and the blues, two American originals, come together in this striking -- no pun intended -- tale of faith and perseverance. Like baseball and the blues, CURVEBALL AT THE CROSSROADS is enticing and seductive, a story that will stay with you long after the last pitch."

Jay Busbee, author, "Earnhardt Nation"; writer, Yahoo! Sports


“There are few writers who can make baseball as compelling as Michael Lortz, and this book is a swing for the fences.”

Ben Montgomery, author, "A Shot in The Moonlight", "Grandma Gatewood's Walk"; writer, Axios Tampa Bay


"Michael Lortz combines a touch of “The Natural” with a little “Damn Yankees” in “Curveball at the Crossroads”, a fun read for any true baseball fan."

Bill Chastain, sportswriter and author 


"Enjoyable version of the classic deal with the devil story. The baseball world is well-drawn without being too insider. Some absurdist elements mix well with the drama and make for a fun read overall - worth spending the time on this one."

Brian Spaeth, author, "Flight of a Super Airplane", "Prelude to a Super Airplane"; writer, "Who Shot Mamba?"


"The deal-with-the-devil is a favorite story motif. This book puts it in a baseball context. This is a fun read with vivid scenarios which could easily be adapted to video. Loved it."

Patro Mabili, radio host, WMNF 88.5 FM (Tampa, FL)


""Curveball at the Crossroads" appears to be a baseball book, but is a lot more with a character driven story, set against the backdrop of a good and evil universe. JaMark Reliford is on his way to a possible career in the major leagues until an earth-shattering injury topples all of his plans. A while later he is offered by a man wearing black pants, shirt and top hat at a fork in the road, a way in to the game. The agreement has terms to be met or there will be consequences. For a while JaMark is on top of the world but something changes and the bargain takes a new turn. "Curveball at the Crossroads" is a wonderful first novel that is a multi-layered story that moves along at a brisk pace to its final pages with writing and a story that is guaranteed to please."

Gary Roen, senior book reviewer, Midwest Book Review


"Baseball and the Blues. Are there any greater American creations? Nay, I say, and first-time author Michael Lortz has merged these two cultural pillars with his excellent new novel, “Curveball at the Crossroads.” 

"People who know me know I love the Blues — it’s my favorite musical genre, especially Delta Blues — making Michael’s book a must-read for me and anyone else whose passions include the Blues and baseball."

Ryan Whirty, writer/historian at The Negro Leagues Up Close; Society of American Baseball Research


"Mr. Lortz has released his first novel, with hopefully many more to come, and it is already finding A+ reviews… for good reason."

"Lortz brings his key characters to life, the humble, conflicted Reliford, the conniving and crafty devil and a slew of others that provide meaning and substance.  His chapters are short (66 of them), which works perfectly for those of us with ADHD.  They end vividly in well-crafted cliffhangers that make Crossroads difficult to put down because you want to see what happens next, which should be the point of any well-written book."

Chris Humphreys, SportsChump.net

Curveball at the Crossroads book