Friday, January 25, 2019

Someone's Footsteps

I read a passage about two weeks ago that has stuck with me and has played on my heart. A pastor wrote that growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, snow was sometimes heavy. When he was little, his father would take him out and tell him to follow in his footsteps so it would be easier for him.

But kids being kids, he’d stray to one side or the other, find himself stuck, and call out for help. His father would pick him up and set him on the path made by his footsteps and ask him to again, follow so that it would be easier for him. This was repeated several times.

I think of those brave men and women, the first pioneers who trekked across our country without a map, and with only hope. Hope for a new life. Hope for better times. Hope for adventure.

It had to have been tough going. There were no roads. There were no paths. Lewis (no relation that I am aware of) and Clark blazed the trail westward. They had to make their own way. There was sickness and injury. That can be said about many of the wagon trains heading out that way. The Donner Party comes to mind.

I think what has stayed with me is that sometimes it is easier to just follow along. It is more comfortable and as I said, easier. But there are those who are a bit adventurous, aren’t there? Most of the time, there isn’t any problem. There are mountain climbers galore. Deep sea fishermen. Explorers in this desert or that jungle.

Sometimes, however, that sense of adventure gets the best of us. We get caught in unexpected and unplanned events, situations, and circumstances.

Sometimes without knowing it, without thinking, we stray from the footprints of someone who has set the trail ahead of us. Sometimes we get stuck and call out for help and someone rescues us and puts us back on that path, in those footsteps.

Sometimes, we need that help, don’t we? It doesn’t make us weak to call for help. I think quite the opposite. It is the confident, the strong who recognize that help and guidance are needed.

Too often, we sit and worry and continue to be lost. Sometimes, we remain stuck because we don’t call out for help, even when help is readily available. Sometimes in our own pride, we remain stuck because we’re embarrassed, or shy, or afraid of appearing to be weak.

I see that in some of the kids who walk the hallway who want to appear tough and strong and who don’t think they need the help they truly need. I see that in teachers who truly want to do better, but are afraid of being judged as less than.

And, I sometimes see it in myself as I try to do the right and good and proper thing, but sometimes get lost along the way. I don’t want to appear less than in the eyes of my colleagues or my supervisors. None of us want to be judged or looked upon as less than.

So sometimes, we flounder, we get lost, we get stuck and rather than asking for help, we stay floundering, we stay lost, we stay stuck. I repeat, it isn’t weakness to ask for help, to ask for guidance, to help us get unstuck. That, my friends, is strength. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My new book, Spiral Into Darkness is available for Kindle, Nook and in Paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

The cover description reads as follows:
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.

There have been several reviews already:

“I had this book for one day and already finished it. From the first pages, it draws you in. Great story about a madman going around and killing people for no reason, or so we think. Another great page turner.” Brent F., Librarian

“Look for strong writing and a great deal of suspense in this well-crafted thriller.” Joan Livingston, author of the Isabel Long mystery series

“Powerful! The best to date. Masterful use of imagery and the ability to manipulate the reader's emotion! An outstanding read!” T Storke

“Another excellent read – this author doesn’t disappoint. Fast-paced, intrigue and unexpected twists.” S. King

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. You can find it on Amazon  or on Barnes and Noble

If you do read Caught in a Web, Spiral Into Darkness, 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.

Connect with me on Social Media:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

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Photo Courtesy of Hugues de Buyer-Mimeure and Unsplash 

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