Sunday, June 20, 2021

Wake Up!


Way back in the early 80’s, two friends and I went camping one weekend at Devil’s Lake State Park. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Hiking the bluffs. Swimming in the warm lake. The smell of campfire and pine. All of it.

Both mornings we were rudely awakened by the biggest, blackest crow I’ve ever seen. Loud and obnoxious. It called just as the sun came up and would not stop. It was on a branch of a tall pine tree that hung over our tent.

Hugh or Mike had enough, and one of them crawled out of the tent and threw stones at the crow to get it to move away from us. He failed. The crow never budged and taunted us with its call. Wake up!

Years later, after Kim gave birth to our daughter, Hannah, she would wake us up in the middle of the night to get her diaper changed and to have a bottle. Hannah was tiny. After I changed her diaper, I would sit in the rocking chair in her room, and feed her a bottle. I almost had to force-feed her. She wanted to sleep. She would start out staring at me intently, her tiny hands wrapped around my fingers (and my heart), and drink her bottle. But soon, I’d have to wake her up to drink some more. This routine began after she’d cry out to us. Wake up!

Now, it’s just Kim and me rattling around in our big house with our two dogs, Daisy and Stella. Kim gets up way early to do her running before it gets too hot. Each and every morning. I sleep in. Or at least, I try to sleep in.

Kim will let the dogs out to take care of their business, and usually Daisy will race to the back fence facing our woods and bark at something. A brown bunny. Sometimes deer. Rarely, a fox. But her barking wakes me up. Probably our neighbors too. Kim runs to get her away from the fence and into the house, but her barking wakes me up. I might doze off again. More times than not, I toss and turn, and finally get up.

I was reminded in my morning devotional about something called a “death clock.” You open it up, type in your age, when you were born, answer a few questions, and presto, it tells you when you are going to die.

My question is, who would want to know that? Why?

I think I prefer to not know. I would prefer to live my life happily and blissfully ignorant of when I might die. I’m not interested to know when my death might occur.

I believe that if we are focused on our death and what might become of us, we lose focus on living in the here and now. We lose the joy of each day and what each day brings to us. We lose the surprises of each day.

I’m not na├»ve. I know there are disappointments. I know there is failure. I know there is sorrow. I know there is struggle and pain. I know that.

But I also know there is incredible joy in each day. There is joy in life and living. There is love. There is happiness. There is success. I know this too.

I would rather focus on beginning each day positively and fully. I would rather focus on all that life presents to us. The possibilities. The maybes. After all, life deserves to be lived. We deserve to live. Whether it is a crow, a crying baby, or a barking dog, Wake Up! Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I have an author's website, in addition to my Facebook Author’s Page. On it, I talk about writing. I introduce characters from my books, and I introduce readers to other authors. I also release snippets from those books. Mostly, it is my way of reaching out to you so that you get to know my author side of life. You can find it at:

Other ways you can connect with me on Social Media: 
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

The Lives Trilogy and Prequel are now available in both paperback, kindle and nook through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The links are below! I appreciate all the texts, requests, and messages I have been receiving. Thanks for your support and interest. I edited and revised each book. I am pleased with the results. I am thankful to BRW for their continued belief in me and in my writing. I hope you will rediscover or perhaps discover the Lives Trilogy and Prequel.  

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 live in separate parts of the country, the lives of 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 Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out.

Book One, 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 will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved.  

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward if fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern is killed. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. 

Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death?    

Betrayed: A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader's Ready Recommended Read Award Winner!
A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. 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.

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 
They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes 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.    

Photo courtesy of Warren Wong and Unsplash




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