Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Joyful Noise

When I was a principal, one of the administrative assistants had the best laugh! Actually, I’ve been blessed with administrative assistants who had great laughs. Anna, who is now deceased and who I miss dearly, was one of them. Dona, Wendy, Sherrie, Val, Chrissy, many others – all of them made me laugh when I heard them laughing. They made the offices they worked in fun to be in. A joyful place to be in.

When there was a birthday, we’d gather and celebrate and, of course, sing the birthday song to whomever it was we celebrated that day. It was Alicia who said, “I don’t sing! I make joyful noise!”

Joyful Noise! 

Remember when you’d go to your son’s or daughter’s preschool or early elementary school concerts? There were times when the kids would belt it out and, usually, it would be sung in several different keys at the same time. Didn’t know that was possible, but it made me smile each time, just like it makes me smile as I write this.

One Christmas Eve way back, I visited my sister, Betty and her husband, Jim, and my niece and goddaughter, Nadine. We went to one of the later services and a children’s choir sang, Go Tell It On The Mountain. Two boys in the front row got so into it, they created their own hand and arm motions to go with it. The audience snickered along with the priest. But he was so taken with the performance, he asked the choir to do it again. So we all sang along, and the two boys got even more animated as they sang. It was the best service I had ever been to! So much joy!

Joyful Noise!

But it doesn’t even need to be singing.

When Hannah and Emily come home with Alex and Q, we play board and card games. There is so much laughter and teasing and taunting. All in fun. All good-natured. And the decibel level climbs as the competition increases. Not that the Lewis family could ever claim to be competitive. Ha! But again, it is Joyful Noise, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Back when we’d take road trips and Emily and Hannah were in the backseat, they’d sing along with the radio. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily characterize it as singing. More shouting, along with hand and arm motions, almost dancing in their seats. And oh, was it loud! But Kim and I would laugh, and I’d struggle to stay between the lines because I watched them using the rearview mirror. 

Joyful Noise!

I think the best is a baby’s laughter. The giggle and belly laugh. Or, the individual who, when they’d laugh, you automatically smile and laugh with them. Can’t be helped. 

During the year or two we wore masks because of Covid, one of the things I think I missed the most was seeing someone’s smile. The warmth of it. The humanness of it. The vulnerability of it. The invitation and message the smile gives. 

I don’t think we laugh enough. I don’t think we smile enough. We’re more guarded, or perhaps so involved with the ‘importance’ of our moment, we forget to or don’t have time to smile, to laugh. We need more joyful noise! Young, middle-age, old- all of us need to smile and be smiled at. All of us need to laugh and to be laughed with. All of us need Joyful Noise! Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My newest book, Fan Mail, is Available for Preorder at https://www.blackrosewriting.com/thrillers/fanmail  Use code PREORDER2023 to receive a 15% Discount. If you head over to my author website at www.jrlewisauthor.blog/ you will find the cover to Fan Mail, along with the first chapter or two to preview.

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 Websitewww.jrlewisauthor.blog/
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at: 
Amazon at: 
www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI /

Fan Mail: New Release!

A barrage of threatening letters, a car bomb, and a heart attack rip apart what was once a close-knit family of adopted brothers. Randy and Bobby, along with fellow band member and best friend, Danny, receive fan mail that turns menacing. They ignore it, but to their detriment. The sender turns up the heat. Violence upends their world. It rocks the relationship between the boys and ripples through their family, nearly killing their dad.

As these boys turn on each other, adopted brother Brian flashes back to that event in Arizona where he nearly lost his life saving his brothers. The scars on his face and arms healed, but not his heart.

Would he once again have to put himself in harm’s way to save them? And if faced with that choice, will he?

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. https://amzn.to/34lNllP

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! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS

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. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx

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. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com 

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka

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. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696  
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 Ben White and Unsplash.





  1. Joyful noise indeed, Joe. Love the memories you shared above, both the school and home. Agree that I missed those smiles when we were wearing those masks! Especially the smiles in the children. Thank you for sharing the smiles in your post!

    1. Thank you, Sue. Yes, these are great memories. Thanks for giving it a read.


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