Sunday, July 24, 2022


This summer, I didn’t do much. In other summers, I worked as an administrator year-round, with days or a week or two off for vacation. This summer, I helped summer school for one week, and was a remote online learning facilitator. Basically, I did what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. Kim and I had time to spend together and that was fun.

Each July, we take a family vacation. Typically, we head to the beach because our family is a water family. Earlier this month, we spent our vacation in Charleston, South Carolina in a beach house. It was small, cozy, and opened up right on the beach. We saw dolphins. A momma turtle laid eggs, and we saw a volunteer move the eggs to a safer location on the beach, and our daughter, Hannah, helped dig it as deep as it needed to be.

We toured the downtown. Took two boat tours. Enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage tour. Listened to the history of the city and area. We walked miles. We took turns preparing meals or ate out at our leisure.

Then we came home.

It seems that the end of our vacation signals the start of a new school year. Hannah, a third grade teacher in a district in her home town, starts near Labor Day. Emily and her boyfriend begin new jobs in August. Emily, as a therapist, and Q as a special education teacher and head wrestling coach.

Kim begins in a week with what we call, Teacher Week. I am semi-retired working as an online learning facilitator thirty hours a week. I begin with Kim, though I am not “expected” to be present for all of Teacher Week. I work as needed.

I also notice the displays at different stores change. School supplies. Halloween decorations. Advertisements for fall clothing. I’ve even seen several notifications of Christmas “around the corner.”


All around us. We step on a scale and see the numbers grow- a signal we might need to eat better and get more active. We receive a phone call from a doctor- a signal we have a health check up coming, or perhaps we had one and the results are as great as we had hoped. The check engine light glows ominously on the dashboard- a signal our car needs to be taken care of.

We move slower- a signal we are getting older. We enter a room and forget what it was we came to get- a signal we need to sharpen our memory. We receive news of some sort letting us know of someone’s passing, or a marriage of a dear friend, or a birth of a child, or of someone moving to a different location.


They come in all shapes and sizes. Signals are harbingers of good, as well as bad, happy as well as sad, and all things in between. Signals need to be heeded, whatever they may be. Signals give us an opportunity to take stock of our lives, our thinking, our hearts, and our souls. Signals give us an opportunity to change, to do better, to be better.

As one season changes to another, as one month fades away and another begins, even as one week ends and another begins, let’s take stock of where we are at the moment. Let’s heed our signals- be them big or small, alarming or not. It’s never too late to change course, to begin again, to renew our thoughts, our hearts, our souls. Never too late. 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!

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 Mark Stosberg and Unsplash.




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