Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Yes, Maybe, No

When we had moved from Wisconsin to Virginia, our daughters, Hannah and Emily, lobbied hard and heavy for a dog. It didn’t need to be a puppy, but they both wanted a dog.

They reasoned that since we moved, a dog would help. Hannah went online and found a dog for sale. She plastered pictures of the dog everywhere: on the refrigerator, in the refrigerator, on our bathroom mirror, on doors, in cupboards. Name it- a picture of the dog could be found. There was conversation. There were pleas, and a fair amount of bargaining took place.

Both Kim and I grew up with dogs. I knew Kim wanted one, though she didn’t voice an opinion one way or the other. But she knew I did as well.

We relented. We drove to pick up Bailey and paid the person $50. Not much when it came to dogs, especially a Golden Retriever.

We put her in the car and Kim and I didn’t know Bailey was going to last. We could see her ribs. She was quiet, a little shy. Seemed friendly, though certainly not outgoing. Worse, Kim and I could see she was malnourished and we could see her ribs. We didn’t mention anything to the girls, but both of us wondered how the girls would react if Bailey passed. We figured maybe two weeks, tops.

The person who gave us Bailey told us she was turned over to her by a Turkish military couple and she suspected the dog wasn’t treated well. A lot of yelling, at the least. Not much care. Not much love.

But Hannah and Emily, and Kim and I loved her. In time, Bailey understood we were a much different family than she was used to. It took her a good two months before Baily even barked, and that was because she wanted table scraps. Until then, we thought she was mute. We never heard a noise coming from her.

It didn’t take long before Bailey picked a favorite. While the girls and I loved her and treated her well, Bailey and Kim bonded. Bailey became Kim’s dog. (It should be noted that any dog we ever had, Kim was the favorite.)

It all began with Hannah and Emily asking, pleading, and begging. The cute pictures plastered all over didn’t hurt the cause, either.

Eric Church has a song, Some Of It. That song happened to be the last graduation song I sang to my graduating seniors in 2020. In the song, he has a lyric:

‘Mama ain’t a shrink, daddy ain’t a bank,

and God ain’t a wishin’ well.’ 

Church certainly got it right about God. You can ask, but one of three things might happen: a yes, a not right now, a no. And generally, the no comes with an “I have something better for you.” 

But as for mom not being a shrink, I can tell you the girls (and I) get measures of wisdom from Kim. Sometimes, merely her listening to us yammer on is enough. As for me not being a bank, well, I admit we’re not the wealthiest of folks. I’ll never compete with the likes of Musk or Bezos, but we’ve done pretty well. And there are times when Kim and I have done without, so Hannah and Emily and Wil could ‘have.’ Many parents do that. We all do that, and I’m certain that Hannah and Emily will do that for their kids. Parents do that. I know I certainly tried to do that.

Parents also say “Yes,” or “Not yet,” or “No,” but almost always, we try to do better for our kids, don’t we? To me, that isn’t spoiling them, it’s loving them. It’s in the job description of being a parent. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My newest book, Fan Mail, is Available for Preorder at  Use code PREORDER2023 to receive a 15% Discount. If you head over to my author website at you will find the cover to Fan Mail, along with the book trailer, and the first two chapters to preview.

I received some fantastic news!

Blaze In, Blaze Out received the Best Action Fiction of 2022 Award by Best Thrillers! I can’t possibly express how happy and humbled I am to receive it.

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
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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: Best Action Thriller of 2022 by Best Thrillers! 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 Marcus Wallis and Unsplash.



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