Monday, January 30, 2023

The News

I seldom, if ever, use this site as anything but inspirational, to get people to make good and decent decisions about life, about love, and about the world we walk in. I try to get people to act intentionally for the betterment of themselves and others. I think if you read back through my posts, you can see for yourself my intentions, and you can judge for yourself whether I am successful in my goal. 

This weekend, I sat in horror as I watched the brutal actions of one man against Paul Pelosi. I had to turn the channel because I couldn’t watch it. Just couldn’t. Then, I sat in horror as I watched the savage beating of a handcuffed and maced young man who was in the street on his back or side. Again, I had to turn the channel as quickly as I could, because this young man cried openly and unrestrained while calling for his mom. It was sad, ugly, and tragic. It was far beyond anything reasonable. 

Folks, I write thriller fiction. I tell stories using ugliness to spark hope and truth, aiming for the goodness of man. Sometimes I show ugliness to use it as a teaching point. I’m aware of the sometimes brutality in my stories. Yet, my stories have hope in them. There is always a “bright side.” 

The difference between my stories and what was presented to us in video form through the news is that my stories reside in a fictional world. What was presented to us was all too real. 

Think about that for a minute. 

I make things up for a living. In writing fiction, there has to be logic. The writing has to make sense. 

What we saw on the news had no logic to it. None. It was senseless, brutal, and unforgiveable. An elderly man’s life was almost taken inside his own home by a man wielding a hammer. A twenty-nine-year-old’s life was taken after lying in a hospital bed three days after his attack by law enforcement. 

In 2014, my son was taken from us because of gang violence. Wil was collateral damage, caught between one gang wanting to kill a rival. Wil was used as a shield so the rival could escape. 

As Wil lay on the sidewalk dying, across the street was an alderman who later told reporters, “I just thought he was another gang banger.” No, Wil was anything but. He later apologized for his remark and actions, but tried to get my daughter-in-law, now a widow, to appear with him for an anti-gun campaign. She refused.

Watching what took place in the Pelosi home, and watching what took place on a Memphis street, I couldn’t help but be propelled back to that Saturday afternoon when Wil was shot and killed. Three acts of disgusting horror. Three acts of senseless brutality.

In the many news conferences and interviews I took part in regarding my son’s death, I repeated the same mantra. Until we learn to respect life, to cherish it, to take care of one another, no gun law or amount of gun laws will prevent death by a gun.

Am I in favor of gun laws? Hell, yes! Banning the AK-47? A resounding yes! Enforcing background checks and red flag laws? You bet! 

But what I am more in favor of is learning to respect and care for others; checking the rhetoric we use when trying to make and prove a point; living our lives in grace and working to support and lift life, rather than taking it. That’s what I’m in favor of more than anything. I hope you are too. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

Connect with me on Social Media: 
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Need a New Book? I have nine available, and I hope you gift someone, maybe yourself, with one of my books. 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.

My newest, Fan Mail, just won a Literary Titan Silver Book Award, and 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. You can also PREORDER the Kindle Version on Amazon at:

Fan Mail: New Release! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner!

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 Crime 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 Roman Kraft and Unsplash.

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