Sunday, August 15, 2021

Unsettled and Uncomfortable


I began my teaching and coaching career at age twenty-two in Wyoming. Far from Wisconsin where I was born and raised. Much different from Wisconsin in culture and lifestyle. While I thought I knew what I was getting into, I truly didn’t. Sometimes I think back and am happy for the three-year experience out there, but I wonder how I managed to. 

I lived in the town of Yoder, population 101. It had the Yoder Bar, a post office, and a gas station. There were no cell phones back then, and my phone was a landline shared with three other neighbors. In order to use the phone, I had to wait until someone else finished their conversation. I had never experienced that before. 

I chose to live and work in Wyoming because of my fondness for western history. My parents, my younger brother, and I had driven through it on our way to Yellowstone and to Glacier National Park. I think that brief introduction helped me make my decision to live there. 

A dry state. It seldom rained, but if it did, like clockwork, it was late in the afternoon. It would rain for a bit, and then the sky would clear back to a beautiful blue. 

Flash forward many years later.

This is the time of year when Virginia is hot and humid. You wake up, step outside, and sweat. Tough to breathe sometimes. The air sticky and thick. It hangs on you.

Several days this week, it was sunny all day until late afternoon. Then, clouds rolled in, dark and ominous. Thundered continuously, sometimes with lightning, sometimes without. And then it would rain. Like Wyoming, hard and driving rain. The trees behind our house waving back and forth as the wind kicked up.

And like Wyoming, then suddenly, the rain would stop. The wind would die down. The sun would poke through the clouds almost to say, “I’m here. I’m always here. Sometimes you can’t see me, but I’m here.”

Reassuring, isn’t it? No matter the many clouds we encounter, the sun is still there. Hiding, hidden, but there. No matter the wind and the rain, the sun is still there.

Tough to look skyward when there is wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Hard on the eyes. Tough on the face. Instead, we duck down and cover up, scurry here and there, trying to stay dry and warm and comfortable.

Tough to look up when facing dark clouds and inclement weather.

Tough to look up when there is “weather” in our lives. Tough to remember there will be sunny days ahead, just as there are rainy, nasty days ahead, too. Sometimes there are stretches in our lives when all seems dark and ugly. Sometimes we forget there are, and will be, good times, too.

There will always be both good and bad, beautiful and ugly, fair and inclement elements in our lives to deal with, to live through. But we always seem to live through them. Despite the helplessness we sometimes feel, we get through. We always do. Something to think about . . .

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 Micah Tindell and Unsplash








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