Monday, February 13, 2023

Like Boosters on a Rocket

I had several close childhood friends and I’ve often wondered what became of them, how we lost touch. 

Russ and I were friends since kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. He lived up the hill from me, and we did most everything together. He and his family moved away first, but maybe a year later, my family moved close to the same neighborhood. Besides, we still saw each other every day in school. 

However, I went away to a boarding school for high school about an hour away from the city I grew up in. While I came back most weekends, somehow, we lost touch and lost the friendship we once had. The friends I ended up with were my high school friends, but because we came from different towns and cities, we only saw each other during school. Summers, everyone disappeared into their own worlds. Remember, this was way before cell phones, FaceTime, and computers. But when school started again, our friendships and relationships picked back up. 

Until we graduated …

Then, I seldom saw them. Seldom heard from them. My close friends, Jeff and I, graduated together, while Steve and Neil were one year younger. We lost touch. Neil and I were able to reconnect through Facebook, but I haven’t seen him in years. I have no clue where Steve and Jeff are, and I don’t know how to get a hold of them. Sad. 

College? Roommates drifted away, as did I. Classes and activities pulled us away from each other. I eventually moved out of state for my first job. Came back three years later. But my life and my work were more important to me than keeping up with them. Same with them, I guess.

When Kim and I got married and had our kids, and our family became most important to us- both immediate and extended. We were acquaintances with other soccer and swim moms and dads, but really only acquaintances, not friends. Our time and effort went into each other and into our kids.

I stumbled upon a YouTube video of Tyler Perry speaking to an audience about the loss of friendships. He characterized it like boosters on a rocket. When the fuel runs out or when they reach a certain altitude, the boosters drop off. The boosters were not meant to travel the entire distance with the rocket, but they serve a purpose to lift the rocket and then drop off. 

He went on to say that some friends were only meant to boost you on your way, to help you become who you are. They didn’t and don’t have the capability of reaching the same heights as you, so, they drop off and disappear, living only in our memories as we reminisce about them.

I look back fondly at my relationships with some of my teacher, coaching, counseling, and administrative buddies and friends. Mark, Dan, and Tim. Amy, Harry, Wes, Felix, and Dave. Others far too many to remember and put on paper. Former students. Dan and Dave, brothers who stayed in touch over the years. Steve and Hugh. Again, so many to list here.

But I like and appreciate the analogy of friends like boosters on a rocket helping me reach the heights I was able to travel, helping me become the person I am today. Forever grateful and appreciative of their companionship along the way. Their friendship. Their presence. They made life more pleasurable, and in some cases, bearable. Thanks for what you did for me, are doing for me, for who you are to me. Something to think about … 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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My newest, 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. You can also PREORDER the Kindle Version on Amazon at:

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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 Helena Lopes and Unsplash.



  1. Great blog post. I saw your post on LinkedIn and came over. Some friends are with us for a season, some for a reason and a few are forever. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Thank you, Lana! I appreciate you stopping by, and I appreciate your thoughts!


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