Monday, September 12, 2022


I love football and the start of the football season. I especially like the Packers. Always did. It was the first and only team I follow, besides the Badgers. I guess, growing up in Wisconsin, one would think I’d gravitate to cheering and following those teams. Throw in the Brewers and the Bucks, and you have me pegged.

I was really looking forward to yesterday’s Packer versus Vikings game. Rodgers defending his back-to-back MVPs. New receiving corp. The emergence of two solid running backs. A vaunted defense that seemed to be, on paper anyway, tougher than most.

And the Vikings have become one of the biggest rivals for the Packers. They have a new coaching staff and front office. During the off-season, just like the Packers did, they went out and filled up some holes on defense, including one veteran from the Packers. I have to admit, I was hoping he’d fall flat on his face, but he’s tough and was out to prove the Packers wrong for letting him go.

Vikings began with the ball, drove right down the field and scored. So much for our much-improved defense. 7 to zip.

Packers turn. 

First play of the game, our new rookie receiver streaked past his defender. Rodgers let it fly. A perfect pass, a perfect route, but an imperfect ending. What would have been a seventy-five yard touchdown on the Packers’ first play of their first possession was dropped. It hit his hands. It. Was. Dropped.


Several other miscues. A wrong route. A forced pass for an interception, Rodgers admits he shouldn’t have thrown. Another drop or two. A goal line stand where Rodgers admitted he thought of improvising on the play, keeping it and walking in for a touchdown. Several missed blocks. Missed defensive assignments. Some missed tackles. Two timeouts because we didn’t get to the line of scrimmage and run the play fast enough. 


All of which resulted in a Packers’ loss. And my frustration and dismay, if not anger. (I have to admit to yelling at the TV, though only my wife, equal to me as a Packers’ fan, and our dogs listened.) 


If that first pass was caught and turned into a score. If Dillon was able to punch it in at the goal line or if Rodgers would have trusted his gut, kept it, and walked in for a touchdown. If those other drops were caught. If Rodgers didn’t throw an interception. If our line held up and made their blocks. If we could have gotten out of the huddle faster and run the play quicker.


There are times when we look back on what we did, what we said, perhaps what we didn’t do or didn’t say, and say to ourselves, “If …” We get caught up in the game of If-I-Could-Have-Should-Have-Would-Have. We play it often, all of us, and never win it. Never. There is a path we like to walk down paved with Ifs where we stumble and trip and fall. We cut our hands (our hearts) on the sharp objects of If on that beaten path. And though we vow to never walk it again, we find ourselves back on it tripping and falling again and again.

Perhaps there is a better way to live. In the present- not the future. In the present- not the past. To resolve to do better the next time and then to actually do better and take better care of the opportunities that come our way. And if we don’t, if we somehow fall back into the pattern of missed opportunity, let’s not play the If game. Let’s chalk it up to experience, a sometimes painful and exasperating lesson learned. But move on and look for the next opportunity. The Packers play next week. We live on today and tomorrow and the next day. Let’s do better. All of us. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference! 

To My Readers:

Well, so much for my position as story writer for Acorn TV.

It was a scam. Not Acorn TV, but the person or persons behind the remote story writer promotion and site. Hundreds of us fell for it. I’m not sure what their endgame was or is. They didn’t get money from me, but I can’t speak for anyone else. It is frustrating and disappointing and saddening. Yet, life moves on, and I will too. Lesson learned and all that.

This next month, I should receive a preview of the cover for my ninth book, Fan MailThe publication date is March 30, 2023If you check out my author website at you will find more about me, my writing, my books, my new gig as Story Writer, and my new book, 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 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 Johnny Williams and Unsplash.



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