Friday, February 1, 2019

It Takes Just One

A teacher sent me an email earlier this week. Not a request or a hope for or a complaint. Nothing like that.

You see, this teacher sends “positive” emails to the parents of students every so often. Sometimes she hears back from a parent- generally a thank you or an I appreciate it type of email- other times she doesn’t receive anything. She gets it. I get it. Parents, like all of us, are busy.

However, this time, she received a response. It read:

            This email just made my entire week. Never in the history of having ___ in school have
            I received a positive email about him like this. He has always struggled in school, and
            loves your class. This just made my heart happy to read. Thank you so much for letting
            us know.

“Never in the history of having ____ in school have I received a positive email about him like this.”

Never? Ten grades of school? Never?

The teacher wrote to me:

            It broke my heart that no one ever took the time to write a positive message to this
            student’s parents. It makes me want to send a note home to all my students. I know it is
            extra work, but I never realized how important these little messages are. I know this
            might sound corny, but it is too bad we can’t get more teachers to do this. Just a

When you think about it, having someone say something positive, something nice is always welcome, isn’t it? We like it, right? I know, sometimes it might feel uncomfortable because we have a tendency to feel we aren’t worthy enough to receive a compliment. Some of us don’t know how to receive a compliment.

We, like kids, receive criticism all the time. Maybe not all the time, but sometimes. And when we do, little is recognized for the good we do or attempt to do. It causes anxiety, a bit of fear and possibly, a lot of dread.

But we’re older. You’d think that will all of our experience with life, with people and the situations we’ve been in, we can deal with it, right? Hmmm . . . probably not so much. Criticism stings. It hurts. Human nature is that even though we receive four compliments, we tend to focus on that one criticism. (back in September of 2017, I wrote a post titled, “The Dot”)

Now if adults have a tough time with criticism, imagine kids. Kids are rookies when it comes to experiences. Babies when it comes to life’s circumstances.

I believe that one kid’s success is one caring, positive adult away.

Think about that. You all know my story about how a teacher, two of them actually, turned my life around. My last book, “Spiral Into Darkness” was dedicated to them. All it takes is one caring adult to turn a life around. One person to listen, to smile. Can you . . . will you be that one person, that one adult in the life of a kid . . . or adult? Please? 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. Shhhhhh . . . it will be FREE on Kindle from 2.5.19 - 2.7.19. Yes, FREE!

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.

I play with the question, Is a serial killer born or made? There are two sub-themes one of family and one on sexuality, and all three collide at the conclusion.

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

Amazon at: /

picture courtesy of Kyle Glenn and Unsplash 

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