Sunday, February 20, 2022

It's Coming!

Yesterday morning, early, I sat in this same spot working on my new book, Fan Mail, about a fan who takes it to the extreme. It’s a mystery/thriller with family drama tucked neatly inside of it. Perhaps not so neatly. There is ooze to it, as one reader spoke of my work. I enjoy writing it, and I wept in passages as I wrote them. And, as I sat there considering word choice, I heard something.

Behind me is our deck, and beyond the deck is our yard. At its back, behind the fence, is a wooded section. Home to many critters. Deer. Fox. Coons. Squirrels. And I’m sure, snakes. On the railing of our deck were three birds carrying on a lively conversation. A female cardinal in the middle, a robin to her left, and a gray bird with a blue belly with gold fringe on her right. The cardinal and the robin were new to the deck, but the gray bird with the blue belly has been a fairly regular visitor.

As I said, it was a lively conversation. They chatted away like old friends would over coffee or tea. Every so often, one or all would glance in my direction. Perhaps only at their reflection in the sliding glass door. But I’m okay with thinking they were glancing at me. Maybe trying to engage me. For my part, I was content to watch and listen, like people-watching at the airport or the mall. I didn’t want to disturb them. Eventually, they flew off into the woods and beyond. I hope they come back. Soon.

This is the time of year when Kim and I notice a nest or two under our deck. We also have one in our newspaper box under our mailbox. Our two dogs, Daisy and Stella, can’t get to the nests, but we worry when the young try to leave the nest and fly away on their own. Sometimes, they land in our yard. The mother bird (I think it’s the mother bird) will hover nearby until the young hatchling is in flight. Kim and I watch for it and we keep both dogs inside. Circle of life and all that.

Our crepe myrtles are budding. They took quite a beating this winter with the ugly snow and ice storm we had. Lost a limb or two. Our rose bushes took some heavy blows, but seemed to have survived. We lost a row of plants Kim took the time to plant last spring. When the snow and ice melted on a portion of our roof, it landed on them. Rest in peace. We’ll plant new ones in a couple of weeks just before we lay down fresh mulch. Probably have to do it again next spring. 

I like spring. It’s a prelude to summer. Blossoms and bloom. New birth. Fresh cut lawns. T-shirts and shorts. Not yet, but soon. Soon. The thick winter coats to the back of the closet. The lighter spring and summer jackets to the front. Maybe not quite yet, but again, soon. 

Time to take stock of what I’ve done this past fall and winter. What I can do better. What I can improve upon. Anyone out there I failed to keep in touch with over these long, cold months. Lost some friends. Far too soon. I mourn them. Harry. Julie. Steve. Colleagues. Friends. A former student and player. Sad. Far too sad, and as I said, far too soon. 

Must reach out to others. Say what needs to be said. Take the time, because time is needed. It’s a precious commodity. Like air and water. Like love and friendship. Never enough of it, so we have to make better use of what we have given to us before it’s taken away. Before it’s too late.

Spring does that for me. Time to take stock. To consider. To contemplate and meditate. Meditation and slowing down are never a waste of time. They are needed. There are some things that can’t be rushed. But when the time comes, act. Don’t wait. I’ve done that and I live with the regret. Don’t let it happen to you. Ever. 

Perhaps my birds will stop by at some point today. If not today, maybe tomorrow. Take up their chat, their conversation. And I’ll watch and listen. I’m pretty good at that. Perhaps you are too. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

Blaze In, Blaze Out and I were featured in the monthly online magazine, The Big Thrill, published by International Thriller Writers. You can find it at:  BestThrillers selected Blaze In, Blaze Out as an Editor’s Pick. You can find it at:  I am pleased with the recognition, and I am pleased with the growing number of 5 Star Reviews and Ratings Blaze has garnered.

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

Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. 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. Greed can be all-consuming, and 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. So far, he has murdered eight people. 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. A violent gang, MS-13, 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. 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.  
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! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
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 Arno Smit and Unsplash.


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