Wednesday, August 25, 2021


Way back when two of my sisters passed away from brain aneurisms, it caused a panic in our family. As I had mentioned in previous posts, I come from a family of ten. My sisters, Donna and Joanne, both passed away from an aneurism within a relatively short time between one another. It scared us.

It caused several of us to seek scans to see if we had a similar problem. I remember speaking to my doctor about it, and he said that the odds of one member of the family were pretty high, but two were, well, frightening. My word, not his.

I did my time in the “tube.” I didn’t know what to think. Only to find out that the test, if you want to call it that, would only show a weakness in a blood vessel or artery at that moment in time, but would not indicate a weakness later on in life.

Hmmmm . . .

Most of you reading this have been through school at one level or more in your lifetime. We’ve all had to study for and take tests of some kind. Some were easy, while some challenged us. On some, we did well. On others, well, not so much.

When I moved to California in the summer of 1987, I was informed that my California license to teach (I was a counselor, but it still applied to me) depended on my taking and passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST). Two tests: reading and math.

Reading was no sweat. I loved to read and still do. I knew how to write. But math? A far different animal for me. I didn’t have a love-hate relationship with math. It was and still is purely hate. Can’t stand it. I can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. On a good day, I can figure out a percent. That’s it. No more. But I knew I had to study and pass this dang CBEST.

I got myself a tutor. A really super math teacher at the school where I worked as a counselor. She was kind and patient, and didn’t laugh at me. However, her son in fifth grade, who sat across the kitchen table from me, did. Maddeningly, he would also volunteer to show me how to do some problems, and he asked his mother if he could check my work. I set out to prove to him and to the state of California I was smarter than a fifth grade math student!

I took the test. I sweated it out. I nervously waited for the results. 

And I passed! And the most surprising thing about the results? I scored higher in math than I did in reading/writing! A true miracle. I was almost tempted to see if I could walk on water.

We’ve all been there when it comes to tests, haven’t we? Some we breeze through. Others we stress about.

Blood tests when the doctor suspects “something.” C-scans. X-rays. Employment. Sometimes in our marriage or every-day-life, we stress about finances, our marriage, our kids- all of them tests of a sort.

Each day presents a test for us. Whether we allow small, or even big, things to bother us, annoy us, ruin our day. Each day we face the question of will we pass this test or that test- small or big, job related or life related or love related. And at night, we are given an opportunity to reflect on how well- or not- we did on those tests. Whether we succeeded or failed. Whether we almost made it, but fell a bit short.

But after each test and each day, another day dawns. Unless the test has drastic results, we live. We are able to move on. We are able to do better the next time. And even if the test has a result that causes us angst and pain, that tells us our life is shorter than it was expected, it is in those moments, minutes, days, weeks, months, and years we have left to do . . . whatever it is we need to do, to take care of, to be at peace. Use it wisely. Take care of it. Make it meaningful. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
I have an author’s website, besides 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: 
 at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at:  
Amazon at: / 
My new book, Blaze In, Blaze Out, is now available for preorder. Use the promo code: PREORDER2021 and order it at the publisher’s website at:

Book Blurb for Blaze In, Blaze Out: Working with a joint multi-law enforcement task force, Detective Pat O’Connor infiltrated a Ukrainian crime family, headed by Dmitry Andruko. O’Connor and his control, Detective Paul Eiselmann, were the linchpins in the guilty verdict. The two detectives thought it was over. Eiselmann planned for a quiet weekend with his family at home. O’Connor planned on attending a high school soccer game, and then head to Northern Wisconsin for a fishing trip with another cop, Detective Jamie Graff, and four teenage adopted brothers: George Tokay, Brian Evans, Brett McGovern, and Michael Two Feathers. But Andruko is ruthless and vindictive. From his prison cell, he hires two contract killers to kill both O’Connor and Eiselmann and anyone else in the way. The killers can be anyone. The killers could be anywhere, and the killers could strike at any time. The quiet weekend and the short vacation turn into a deadly nightmare as O’Connor’s and Eiselmann’s lives and the lives of the four boys are in peril.

The one- or two-line promo for Blaze In, Blaze Out: 

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko meant the end. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. A target is a target, and in the end, the target will die.

Betrayed: A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner!

Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!
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, do not know 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 

Caught in a Web is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

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.    
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 to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. 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?  

Photo courtesy of Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu and Unsplash


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