MOODY, Ala. — Gary Lloyd has released his fourth book, Valley Road: Uplifting Stories from Down South.
The book is broken down into three parts: People, Places and Play.
In the People section, Lloyd tells stories of inspirational people, from a BMX stunt team motivating a school of elementary students to a man with severe Alzheimer’s miraculously remembering how to play a specific song on the piano.
In the Places section, Lloyd takes readers on a heartening and descriptive ride through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to the concrete jungle of New York City, to the Green Monster at Fenway Park, to the azaleas at Augusta National Golf Club, and many places in between.
In the Play section, high school coaches from around the Southeast tell their favorite stories, words that have never made the Sports section of their local newspapers. In exclusive interviews with Lloyd, they talk about why they became coaches, about basketball saving lives, about baseball players gathering for Bible studies, about a serve-others-first mentality.
“This has been a book I wanted to put together for a long time,” Lloyd said. “So much focus these days is on the 24-hour news networks, the horrible things that people say and do. I believe this is a book that many people need to read these days. They need to know that life in the 21st century is about much more than political debates, riots and negativity. This book is a collection of stories about the good in the world, about undisturbed land in Ellijay, Georgia, about ‘Stop For Prayer’ signs in the Wal-Mart parking lot, about a man retiring after more than fifty years in city service pleading for his wife to be thanked publicly for her support.”
Former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, who led the Crimson Tide to the 1992 national championship, praised Valley Road.
“Gary shows in this book how coaches, youth pastors and community leaders truly impact the people around them and in turn impact communities in such a positive way. Each chapter demonstrates the positive impact of such people and reminds me of how such people have impacted my life, and encourages me and others to do the same. This book is a must read and one that hopefully encourages us all to realize the impact we can have on the people around us.”
Sean Dietrich, the author of seven books about life in the American South, also commented on the book.
“Gary Lloyd writes with fervor that leaves the reader feeling something akin to a plate of blackberry cobbler—with vanilla ice cream, of course. This book, and Gary himself, are gems in this world.”
Valley Road was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing. The book is available on www.Amazon.com for $10 and on Kindle as an e-book for $7.99.
Lloyd is also the author of Trussville, Alabama: A Brief History, published by The History Press in 2014. He has also written two novels, Deep Green and Heart of the Plate, also available on Amazon.com.
Lloyd has been a journalist in Mississippi and Alabama. He grew up in Trussville, Ala., and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Alabama in 2009. He lives in Moody, Ala., with his wife, Jessica, and their two dogs, Abby and Sonny.