Monday, May 30, 2022


When my dad was retired on disability and after they moved to Fond du Lac, WI to be closer to his doctor, he had a load of time on his hands. He worked feverishly for years as a designing engineer. Sure, there were brief vacations and weekends were off as were holidays, but with no real hobbies or work to do, he had time on his hands. 

Before he got really sick, he rode the bus exploring his new city. I think of that and I can’t help but feel sad. Mom didn’t ride it with him. He was by himself. He and mom were removed from their many friends in West Bend, the town they lived in for my childhood and early adulthood. They didn’t really know anyone. One of my brothers and one of my sisters lived in town, but they had their own lives. Dad didn’t really have anyone.

My brothers, Jack, Jim, and Jeff, are all retired. Jack spends his day with exercise, reading, playing games on his computer, and watching movies. Jim owns an RV park, and the maintenance keeps him busy, along with his wife, daughters, and grandkids. Not sure what Jeff does, as his retirement is more recent. I know there were some home repairs and such. I know his sons and step-daughter live nearby. My brothers seem happy and content. Satisfied. 

For the first time in the last twenty-four years, I am doing nothing this summer. No job to drive off to. No actual work to be done. Don’t have to set the alarm, though I try to get up by seven. 

Of course, I have my writing to do. I look forward to it, but I also don’t want to be too sedentary. I have reading, and I want to catch up on some movies I had wanted to watch. But again, I don’t want to be too sedentary. I want to get in better shape, keep my mind and body alert and active.

I went on a walk this morning for the first time since I had my knee scoped. Felt good, though the temp was hotter than I expected. I’ll have to get out earlier. Walking is something I want and need to do. There is a gym about a mile or two away. They have a deal on memberships, so I might drive over, take a tour and see if that is something I want to do. 

The thing about time . . . 

There is so much, and there is so little. On one hand, you look at the overall number of days in the summer and it seems like a lot. Yet, time is precious, and it cannot, should not, be wasted. Time, like wine or a good dessert, needs to be savored.

But for the first time in twenty-four years, I don’t have much to do. We have a wedding to go to. Traveling to Wisconsin is always fun, and seeing family and some friends again are always good things to do. We have a family vacation to the beach planned. But other than those two bookends, there is unaccounted for time. 


I’m not going to be like my dad and ride a bus all over the county. I might be a little slower these days, but I’m not disabled. I’m still active, though the pace might be slower. My mind is still sharp. At least I think it is. And again, I have my writing I want to do. Characters to explore and develop, throwing them into mayhem and having them chase down blind alleys. 

There will need to be a balance. I get that. But for the first time, I get to set my pace, my goals, my work, my boundaries. I have time. And time is both a wonderful thing, and a scary thing. It needs to be domesticated and become my friend. Not sure how to go about that, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity, even if I am a bit nervous. I’ll manage. I always seem to. I think. 

Something to think about . . . 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

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

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: 
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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 Aron Visuals and Unsplash.




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