Friday, November 30, 2018

The Finish

I’m not a huge NASCAR fan by any means. Because I like practically any sport, I am aware of who the “names” are in the sport: Jimmy Johnson, Dale, Jr., Kurt Busch. Because he is from Wisconsin, I tend to follow Matt Kenseth.

However, I have no idea how that sport works or how anyone gets points. All I know is that cars travel at a high rate of speed in close quarters making a series of left turns with two straight-aways thrown in. There are collisions and at times, tempers flare.

There is a huge trust factor in that those who drive have to at least believe that the guy in front, behind, or next to him is as competent as he is. I can’t say I necessarily have that same trust or belief as I drive down the interstate or city streets. Do you?

Now, like most sports, the winner is the guy who is in front when the checkered flag is waved or when the final buzzer sounds or when the time runs out. He or she or the team can be behind the entire race or game or match, but when the flag falls or when the horn sounds or when the time runs out, if that person or team is in the lead, they are declared the winner.

Pretty fascinating when you think about it.

I think of the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare. The rabbit ran, dogged it for a time, and eventually, the turtle won. Slow and steady wins out. Biblically, I think of Paul. Here’s a guy who did his level best to do away with any Christian because he was following orders. However, he had a life-changing moment and as a result, instead of persecuting Christians, he encouraged and preached to get more people to become Christian. Quite the turnaround, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve always thought about individuals who have lived despicable lives, yet on their deathbed, recanted, came to the realization that their lives were way less than good or righteous, and asked for mercy and forgiveness. I’ve always wondered whether or not they were forgiven. I mean, who am I to judge, right?

I know in my own life, I think back to things I’ve done (or not done) or things I’ve said (or not said) and people I’ve hurt (intentionally or unintentionally) and I cringe and shake my head, hoping beyond hope that I have been forgiven.

But in reflecting back on my sport analogy, if I’ve made the effort to stay in the race just as Mr. Turtle did, even though I screw up along the way and even if I come from way, way back and somehow end up in front, am I not a winner after all when the checkered flag is waved or when the buzzer sounds or when my time runs out? Aren’t we all?

If I have . . . we have . . . truly hung in there and after this screw up or that mistake, if upon honest and sincere reflection, and I or we resolve to do better, to do some good and right a wrong, might I or we deserve another chance or even end up being a winner after all? I hope so. I have to believe so. Don’t you? Something to think about . . .

For My Readers:

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He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He also has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.
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My book, Caught in a Web was named as a PenCraft Literary Award Winner for Thriller Fiction! I was nominated by a reviewer and received notification in the last week or so. It is also on the list for “one of the best crime thriller books of the year!” by Best Thrillers. I am both proud and humbled.

Thanks to all who have read Caught in a Web. If you are interested in a copy on either Kindle or in Paperback, you can find it on Amazon or on Barnes and Noble

If you do read Caught in a Web or any of my other books, please leave a rating and a review. I would appreciate it. Thanks for this consideration!

Caught in a Web:
The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives discover the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.        

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.        

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
A 14 year old boy knows the end is coming. What he doesn’t know is when, where or by whom. Without that knowledge, neither he nor the FBI can protect him or his family.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe