Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Thorough Cleaning


Many Saturdays, Kim announces to me we need to do a thorough cleaning. I break out in a cold sweat. I get the chills. I secretly and silently groan. 

Okay, not really.

Even though it’s just Kim and me in the house, we have two dogs who happily shed every loose or semi-loose hair on their bodies. I know the cleaning is warranted and necessary. And to be honest, it doesn’t take that long. Half a day, maybe less, maybe longer.

When it’s done and when Kim and I sit down and relax, “it” feels better. “It” feels and smells clean. Kim and I are fond of burning scented candles, something homey and welcoming. Something that doesn’t over-power you. That usually comes after the cleaning, though at any time, really. Whenever the mood strikes us. 

Last night, Kim and I watched in horror as the Green Bay Packers lost. They were expected to win. After all, they were the #1 seed. They had home field advantage. They had the reigning MVP, who will probably be a repeat MVP this year. They had a wealth of veterans and starters returning from injuries. They have one of the best coaches in the game. 

They lost. 

Writers pointed fingers at this player, that player, that unit. They pointed fingers at this play or that lack of a play. And now, the Packers face an over-the-cap number over $40 million. That’s a huge number, and I can’t fathom that. Just can’t. I can’t picture it. 

But writers also point out that by cleaning house, by jettisoning this veteran, that player, they can save money. 

There have been times I felt overwhelmed by the number of people, the number of events, the different pushes and pulls required of me. There have been times I lost sight of what is necessary and important and most satisfying in my life. There have been times when I had to do some personal house cleaning of my heart, of my soul, of my mind. There have been times when I had to, like the Packers will do in the next few weeks and months, jettison people from my life. 

I lived in five different states for significant portions of my life. In one state, I met and married Kim. In that same state, we adopted Wil and gave birth to Hannah and Emily. I was a principal in two states. I handed Wil his diploma in one state and handed diplomas to Hannah and Emily in another. 

Sometimes because of those moves, I fell out of touch with friends who I felt I was close to, who I thought were important to me, and I to them. Not sure who cleaned whose house, but someone did, and I am no longer in touch with them. It hurt. There are times it still hurts. 

But I recognize and have enough faith that people leave and situations change for a reason. There is a favorite saying that goes: Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path. That’s an important thought to print on your heart and soul. 

I’ve written in the past in several posts that even though it is dark and storming, the rain will stop, the wind will die down, and the sun will reappear. I think we forget that when it gets the darkest and the stormiest, that’s when we need to be more silent and listen to our heart and that one calm voice in the back of our head that tells us it will get better, that you will be better, that you will be safe. 

Just like we might not like the actual “cleaning” of our house on Saturday, and just like we might not like what the Packers will look like next year, and just like we might not like what we are going through at a moment, BELIEVE that it will get better, that you will be better, and you will be safe. Even in the darkest night, even with the wind and rain whipping and swirling around you, the wind and rain will end, and the sun will shine. It will get better. I promise! Something to think about . . . 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference! 

To My Readers:

I received more great news about my newest book, Blaze In, Blaze OutBlaze and I were featured in the Local Author Spotlight of the Free Lance-Star, and next month, the International Thrillers Writers will feature me and my book, Blaze In, Blaze Out in their monthly magazine, The Big Thrill. I am pleased with the recognition, and I am pleased with the growing number of 5 Star Reviews and Ratings Blaze has garnered.

My book, Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy, has been named a Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards! That is the second award Stolen Lives has won. Previously, it received a Literary Titan Gold Book Award. I’m happy, as well as humbled, that there has been success with Stolen Lives.

Connect with me on Social Media: 
Author Website
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at:  
Amazon at: /

Blaze In, Blaze Out, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko meant the end, but it was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Contract killers were hired, and they can be anyone and be anywhere. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die.

Betrayed: A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!

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 also 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 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: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner!
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 death?  

Photo Courtesy of Gustavo Cezar and Unsplash.




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