Sunday, April 24, 2022

Merry-Go-Rounds and Roller Coasters, Again!

I first published this post in 2013. Since then, there have been many, many changes in my life. The death of our son, Wil. Hannah’s marriage. Emily’s upcoming graduation from grad school. My retirement, or semi-retirement, as I call it. 

Life, if lived to its fullest, is not a merry-go-round, but a roller coaster. It’s the ups and downs of life, if taken in stride, that give you an appreciation for what you have and the joy in this life. I don’t believe there can be a true experience of joy, of peace, of contentment, of love without experiencing their opposites. Just my opinion. I could be wrong. I’ve been known to be wrong. 

So, I post this again as a reminder to us to breathe in and out, to sigh, but also to smile, to weep, but also to laugh. To know that while there is pain, there will also be healing. And while there may be strife, there will also be peace. 

From 2013, and still true today . . .

When I was a kid, I loved going to fairs and amusement parks. I’d buy a bunch of tickets and go on the rides all day or all night. I think night was the best. The lights. The sounds. The smells. The faster, the better.  

I never liked the Ferris Wheel because I don’t do heights very well. It seemed like most of the ride was either loading or unloading passengers. I hated getting stuck on the top. And, was that one little bar across your lap really supposed to prevent you from falling out? Yeah, right!

Merry-Go-Rounds were okay if you were little. When my kids were little, they’d try to find the fastest horse to ride, and we’d race. Of course, my kids always won. Funny how that happens. But as I, and they, got older, Merry-Go-Rounds got stale. I mean, all they did was go around, and around, and . . .

I prefer Roller Coasters. The slow, steady climb up the hill. The building of excitement. The heart pounds, beats faster. As you near the top, you hold your breath. As you go over the pinnacle, you throw your hands up in the air and scream. Okay, maybe you don’t scream, but I do. Sometimes just in my head because I don’t want to look like a wuss to my kids. We race around turns, through loops and corkscrews. It doesn’t last but a minute or two, but it’s fun. It’s exciting. And, you find yourself climbing on board again, and again, and . . .

I know people who never seem to get off the Merry-Go-Round. They spend their day going around, and around, and . . .  They get up in the morning, put on their “uniform” symbolizing they are ready for “work”, climb on a wooden horse and go around, and around, and . . .  Each day. Every day. Same routine.

Pretty boring really. No thrills. No excitement. Same sights. Same music. Same, well, everything.

I prefer to live my life like it was a Roller Coaster. Twists and turns. Ups and downs. Sometimes slow. Sometimes fast. Climbing towards the top, and then plunging down over the pinnacle only to level out and climb another hill, then plunge down once again. At times I want to hold my breath. At other times, I want to scream out of fear, sometimes out of joy. At times I have enough and want to get off, but I find myself climbing back on board. I near the top and throw my hands in the air and just go with it.

Merry-Go-Rounds or Roller Coasters.

It’s really a choice. Your choice. My choice. Rather than the Merry-Go-Round where you go around, and around, and . . . in a never-ending circle, choose the Roller Coaster. It’s more exciting. Slow. Fast. Up. Down. Twists. Turns. Your choice. Hang on and enjoy the ride. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I finished my ninth book, Fan Mail, and it differs from the other books I’ve written. It is more coming of age wrapped in a thriller. It is longer than my other books, but it was fun and satisfying to write. Like I have done in some of my other books, I laughed out loud and wept in spots as I wrote it. It will tug at your emotions, and most assuredly, will cause you to reflect.

I subscribe to the belief that a good book, actually any book, is never finished by the author. A book is finished by the reader. His or her feelings and experiences with the book color the book and make it his or her own, aside from the author.

I will let you know the publication timeline on Fan Mail as I find out. Meanwhile, below are my other books for your enjoyment.

I also had the honor of being interviews by Vinnie O’Hare and having my book, Blaze In, Blaze Out, featured in Awesome Books. The link to it is:

If you have read one of my books, I would like to ask a favor. If you could go online and write a review or, at the least, give a rating on the book, it would be of great help. Both a review and a rating would be wonderful. The review could be one or two lines. It doesn’t have to be long. Just let others know you read it and hopefully, enjoyed it. Obviously, 4s and 5s are the best. Thanks for this consideration.

Connect with me on Social Media: 
Author Website
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at:  
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 Justin and Unsplash.



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