Sunday, July 31, 2022

One More Time


Welcome letters have been sent. Moms and Dads walk the aisles of Walmart and Target alongside eager kids seeking supplies for the year. My wife has worked this summer putting together an online course for seventh graders. And I’m pecking away on my laptop thinking about the first day of my 47th year in education.

47 years!

A long time for many, but I can think of at least two teachers who have me beat. One is a substitute now, while the other is still teaching English. I’m only part time, which means thirty hours a week. Have to keep it at or under 30 because I am “officially retired” in the eyes of the state. Yet, I just renewed my license for another ten years, so …

47 years!

A lot has changed in education since I started back in 1976. I developed two courses based on behavioral objectives. Was big on Bloom’s Taxonomy back then. Still am, I guess. Huge on reading and writing, even in social studies and psychology- my field of study and teaching.

Back then in Wyoming, a common practice was “paddling” a student for disciplinary measures. The principal did the application, while I had to be a second set of eyes on more than one occasion. Have to admit I shut my eyes and tried not to hear the whack and sudden gasp of breath, and tried not to see the tears. Demeaning on many levels. Hell, I don’t think Kim nor I ever spanked our kids. Just couldn’t bring ourselves to do that.

Was a coach back then. Basketball and football, though basketball was where I made my mark. Or I should say, the kids made my mark. I was more of a motivator than a coach. Hung up the whistle after ten or so years. Tired of it. All time consuming. Became a year-round job. I was looking to settle down. Thought of marriage and having kids, though it was several years before that actually happened. Fortunate it did. Happy it did. I love my wife, my kids, and my life.

47 years!

I am an online learning facilitator. I don’t know if that’s an official title or one I made up. Whatever, it fits what I do. I help kids who use a learning platform for their course. A lot like monitoring a study hall, but kids are busy working. I’m there to help if help is needed. Not much interaction, though I like to tease them and a few will tease me back.

47 years!

A teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, back to teaching once again. Grew up in Wisconsin. Lived in Wyoming, Nebraska, and California. Met Kim in California, though she too, was from Wisconsin, growing up only ten miles from where I went to high school. Didn’t know her until we ended up on the same campus. I was a counselor. She was a PE and health teacher and head softball coach. This summer, we celebrated 30 years together.

We talk about what we might have done differently, given the chance. Only things we come up with and talk about is getting married sooner and never leaving California. Loved it there. But we wanted to be nearer to our families.

47 years!

A lot has changed. A lot is still the same. I’m quieter now. Move a bit slower. No longer an administrator, I don’t have to make decisions. Thankful about that. Don’t have to deal with paperwork or politics- my least two favorite things about teaching and education. I smile more. I’m happier now. Much happier. Thankful, actually. Hell, it only took 47 years to get there! Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My ninth book, Fan Mail, has been accepted by my publisher, Black Rose Writing. The publication date is March 30, 2023I am so pleased with this book. It differs from my other work in that it is a coming-of-age story embedded in a tight thriller. More to come on that- I promise! In fact, if you check out my author website at you will find more about me, my writing, my books, and Fan Mail.

While you wait for Fan Mail to hit, I hope you take the time to enjoy my other work. The last four books have won twelve awards, while my Lives Trilogy has won two.

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 Deleece Cook and Unsplash.




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