Sunday, August 29, 2021

Unchanged, Really

Exactly 50 years ago, I was a senior in high school. 50 years ago! Dang, where did the time go?

I went to a co-ed boarding school that was once upon a time a Salvatorian Seminary. Still had some seminarians there when I entered as a freshman, but by the time I graduated, most, if not all, either left or graduated. It was (it suffered financial difficulty and closed way after I had graduated) located in a small town of St. Nazianz. Middle of farm country. Woods on three sides. A pond. Trails. Quiet and comfortable. Peaceful.

At this time of year, I was with the football team, practicing for our first game. We were pretty good for a small school. Only one loss my senior year. Classes were to begin shortly.

Back then, those of us who were eighteen worried about Vietnam and our draft status. Nixon and Watergate. The Democratic convention in Chicago. All of that. For most of us, though, we worried about girlfriends or boyfriends we might have, the school play and the musical group some of us belonged to, where we might go to college- if we could avoid the draft. What we might major in. What jobs we might pursue.

Harold, a speedster, went to North Dakota State University and played some football. So did John, though he played at the interstate rival. Neil, always an artist, went to an art and design school and works in New York at an advertising agency. Steve worked for a record company on their jazz label. Pete became a hospital administrator. Friends. Guys I went to school with. Some younger than me. Lost track of many of them. Thanks to Facebook, reconnected with a few.

50 Years Ago! Dang!

Not much has changed in those fifty years, though.

The seniors in my class wonder about what school they will go to. What jobs they might hold. Wonder if they will go into the military and if so, what branch. Wonder who they might go to homecoming and prom with. Wonder who they might call their boyfriend or girlfriend. Where they might live after school.

Annabelle self-published a heartfelt book of poetry. Ashton dreams of going to UVA and swimming. Brayden thinks he’ll major in business, though unsure what “flavor.” Sophia wants to study analytical math.

Afghanistan. Covid-19 and the Delta variance. Floods, hurricanes, and raging forest fires. Drought and excessive heat.

50 years, but honestly, really, not much has changed. Just a different cast of characters. All striving to do the best they can, where they are, hoping and dreaming for something better. Wanting to make their parents proud. Wanting to be happy. Make a living. Enjoy life. Living their version of the dream.

As a high school teacher and then a counselor and then an administrator, I watched seniors grow, and dream, and wonder, and struggle. Rob played basketball at the University of Wyoming for a time before he quit and ran the family ranch. His brother, Gene, played some small college football and now owns and runs a large accounting firm. Keith trains dogs.

Steve played some college basketball. Kurt played some college football and ended up in the NFL for a nice career. Taylor is a nurse. TJ plays soccer, and so does Thomas. A couple went to military academies. Others enlisted.

50 Years, but really, not much has changed.

As adults, we guide. We counsel. We push and prod. We worry.

We want them to have the best- especially those who belong to us, and those who we know and care for. They will have their own worries, their own dreams, their own stumbles, their own successes. And they will give birth to their own and in 50 years, will wonder where the time went, and look upon those who will follow their own paths, their own dreams. And all will be all right. Yes, it will. 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: / 
I picked up two terrific reviews for Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy.

One is from Literary Titan, who also did an interview with me. You can find the interview here:

The review, found at in part, called Stolen Livesa fast paced crime novel in the how-catch-‘em mystery genre. A riveting murder mystery that slowly unravels a puzzling crime that will have readers furiously flipping pages. With realistic characters a reader can relate to and sympathize with, and a fast-paced and action filled plot, Lewis has created an engaging story that is a fantastic start to his Lives Trilogy.”

The other, from Best Thrillers called Stolen Lives A harrowing and unforgettable FBI thriller. author Joseph Lewis continues to tackle delicate subject matter that few can bear to think about, much less craft a thriller around. Lewis dares to get inside the minds of not only the killers, but the adolescent victims. Scenes told from the abductees’ points of view manage to be both heartbreaking and an incredible testament to children’s capacity for survival. The net result is a terrifying but important novel that no reader could possibly forget.”

Best Thrillers also named Stolen Lives an Editor’s Pick!

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 Jen Theodore and Unsplash



  1. Loved reading it! Feels something cool as well as refreshing as a blogger. Thanks for it

  2. You are more than kind! Thank you for giving my blog a read!


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