Sunday, September 25, 2022


When I was a senior in high school, I had a discussion with my geometry teacher, Sr. Roberta and another student about our favorite season. I’m not sure how we got on that subject because, as I said, she was my geometry teacher. I’m thinking it was anything I could think of to not do math. You see, I have this love-hate relationship with math. I love it when I don’t have to do any math, and I hate it when I have to. I guess, it is mostly a hate relationship with math.

Oh, but I digress … not that I ever, ever do that.

Anyway, we were having a discussion about our favorite season. We all agreed we didn’t like winter. While snow is pretty for about a minute or a day, it turns brown and gray and gross, especially when it melts. And I always hated being cold and having to wear seventeen layers of clothes. Picture the little brother in Christmas Story all dressed up to go outside.

The other student favored spring, because things are opening up, trees and flowers are budding, and it is sunnier and brighter out, a signal that winter is over. Sr. Roberta said her favorite season was summer because of the warmth, being able to go barefoot, sit in the grass and read and paint (she was also the art teacher). She liked the green and the smell of fresh cut grass, birds flying and chirping, squirrels scurrying around.

I said I liked fall. The colors, mostly. Sweatshirt and jeans weather. Flannel or Henley shirts. Apple cider with cinnamon. Football. 

Sr. Roberta said she didn’t like fall because everything was dying. She liked life and living, which is why she liked summer.

I guess I didn’t think of fall as nature dying or if I did, it didn’t bother me. I see death and dying as natural, as something that happens to each of us and all things, eventually. We begin on the path of living and dying when we are born. It happens. 

Still, I thought about her comment that fall is nature dying. I wrote a poem at some point after the discussion and in it, I wrote: ‘fall rain, nature’s way of realizing her mistake.’ But the rest of the poem spoke of color and crispness, of leaves floating up and along the curb with each passing car. Of leaves floating to the ground as trees shed their cloak.

The title of that poem was Fall on Elm Street. Elm street was a short street that ran perpendicular to my elementary school, Holy Angels. The public library, gray stone and brick, sat on that street proudly like it was Elm’s caretaker. I used to gaze out the window of the classroom at that street, at that building. After school, I’d run to the library and roam the stacks of books as I waited for my dad to pick me up after work. 

It had a huge, grand, old oak tree that sat on the side of the library. Its trunk thick and bark gnarled and knotted. Like a sentinel protecting the library and Elm Street from whatever.

All these images and memories come back to me with the first cool morning of fall. The first tease of color.

But Sr. Roberta is right. Fall is nature dying. I’m okay with that. It’s nature’s way. Our way, too, though hopefully, not anytime soon. 

Yes, fall is the harbinger of death. But with it, there is so much beauty to behold. A promise that there is more life to come in only a few short months. So, breathe in the crisp, cool air. Take in the hint and glory of bronze and red and yellow. Snuggle into jeans and boots and sweatshirts and sip warm cider, warming our hands as we grasp the mug. Not so bad to go out this way, is it? Something to think about … 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I wrote a short story, and it sits on my author website at It is titled Memories and Regrets. On this same website, you will find more about me, my writing, my books, and soon, my new book, Fan Mail.

While you wait for Fan Mail to hit March 30, 2023, I hope you take the time to enjoy my other work. The last four books have won thirteen 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: 
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at:  
Amazon at: /

Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Readers’ Favorite 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: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; 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 Daniel J. Schwarz and Unsplash.


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