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The King of Hearts


Tim Cunningham is a shy, lonely man who doesn't seem to belong anywhere. Stationed at Reese Air Force base in Lubbock, Texas, Tim sits alone in his room every night writing songs and playing his guitar.

He finds that music is his only escape from the world outside, and from the loneliness and desolation he feels in his soul. But Tim has a gift: he can sing.

Thriving on the nostalgic culture of Lubbock, Tim idolizes Buddy Holly and spends a great deal of his time at the historic "Walk of Fame".

He often daydreams of what it would feel like to have stood in Buddy's shoes, or at the very least, been his friend.

Alone, and at the point of giving up on his life, Tim goes to sing karaoke one night. From the very first notes of the song he sings, the crowd is awestruck by the powerful voice of this stranger, and the passion in which he performs it. But the crowd isn't the only thing he manages to mesmerize.

Returning to his seat alone to have a drink, he happens to look up to find a beautiful, yet nervous, Jamie Finney standing before him-starstruck.

This is where our story begins.

Tim and Jamie are married, yet a shadow of loneliness still lingers in Tim's heart. And one day, on a visit to a local pet shop, the void is filled by a sad and lonely, bow-legged, black and tan dachshund puppy. After purchasing him, Tim names him "Buddy", after the legendary singer.

Buddy soon finds himself quite proficient at speaking German and learning proper table manners at mealtimes with Tim. Buddy loves to hear himself "jingle" wearing his leather collar and insists on giving tons of hugs, kisses, and laughter.

With the magical love, warmth, and security that Jamie and Buddy give to him, Tim begins to believe that life is worth living.

One day, Tim is offered a position with a local band called "The Sucker-rods" to perform at a benefit/dance to help a little girl with Cerebral Palsy.

Rusty Jackson is the leader of The Sucker-rods, Acie Penton plays the stand up bass and has a comical sense of humor. Marty York is the fiddle player-a quiet man who loves to play "Amarillo By Morning". And last but not least, we have "Spider". Spider plays the drums and prefers to let his drum sticks do the talking for him.

At the very first parctice session at Rusty's house, Tim astounds Rusty with his ability to sing. And over the course of several rehearsals for the benefit/dance, Rusty decides to showcase Tim.

During the performance, a change of course occurs and the benefit/dance turns into a concert as Tim turns the event into a very special night for Crystal Baker, the eight year old child with Palsy. After the benefit, Rusty begins to wonder about the possibility of stardom with Tim.

The Sucker-rod's become closer than family as Rusty teaches Tim everything he knows about music. Needless to say, the band starts to skyrocket in Lubbock and Rusty decides to record two songs that Tim has written at a local recording studio.

During the course of his rise to stardom, the end of Tim's enlistment is fast approaching, and Reese AFB is on a base closure list. Due to the unavailablity of jobs in Lubbock, Tim is forced to return to Tennessee to look for work and prepare for his seperation from the Air Force.

During the drive to Tennessee, Jamie unlocks the secret to Tim's kind heart and discovers a series of tragic events that happened to him during his childhood years.

While in Tennessee, Tim struggles emotionally about staying in Lubbock, but Jamie falls in love with Tennessee and asks Tim if she can stay while he finishes the last few weeks of his enlismtent back in Lubbock-Tim is faced with the ultimate dilemna.

One of the most beautiful endings I have ever read, is the epilogue in this wonderful story. Have a box of Kleenex handy because it is going to rip your heart wide open.

I hope that readers of any age will love this book, and that it will earn its place among the great classics, because I wrote it...for you!
Date Added: 01/14/2012 by Frank Tibbetts
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