Monday, March 6, 2023


Growing up in Wisconsin, there is an old joke or two about the state. One is, if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour. And another that is probably more true than not is, there are two seasons in Wisconsin: winter and road repair. As we travel back to the state from time to time, it is amazing how much road repair is going on and it seems to be constant, not just outside of winter.

Some of it involves building new roads and bridges. Some of it is repairing the existing roads. And more of it, at least in the spring, involves repairing potholes.

I think the common theory about how potholes occur is weather related: the extremes of hot and cold. I think it’s the Yo-Yo effect of hot, then cold, then hot, then cold. And we certainly had our share of that lately here in Virginia. You would think that highway engineers would “get it right” when it comes to building roads, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to care. And not knowing anything about road building or repair, I can’t knock or blame the highway guys. I get it. Potholes occur, and as I said, Mother Nature doesn’t care and will do what she does when she does it.

Some potholes are small and cause a “thunk” as first the front, then the back tires hit it. Others can be as big as a witches’ cauldron and if you aren’t paying attention and run over one (or drop into one as sometimes it feels like it) they can pop tires and cause the alignment to be thrown askew. At the very least, potholes jar you awake and for a moment or two, cause you to slow down and be more aware of your surroundings.

I think each of us have hit a pothole or two as we travel the highway of life. 

Some of life’s potholes are small: you forget your wallet; you spill your coffee on your way to work and it ends up on your shirt or slacks; the copier gets jammed and you can’t proceed with your business. Little things. 

Some of life’s potholes are bigger: the power goes out for a short time; an unexpected and costly home repair; a minor health issue. 

Some of life’s potholes are even bigger than a witches’ cauldron, and can seem like a bottomless pit: a divorce; a death of a loved one; a catastrophic health diagnosis.

And as I said, some of these potholes cause you to move a little slower with more caution. They make us adjust our lives. And at other times, these life potholes leave us grasping for answers and sometimes, there just aren’t any to hold on to. 

There is the loss and confusion, the worry and the doubt, the absolute and terrifying fear that grips us and won’t let go. And as you know, fear can, by itself, cause more harm and good. The worry paralyzes us. We don’t know where to turn or whom to turn to. 

In my life, I’ve experienced each type of pothole. Some, I managed with relative ease. We had a leak under our sink and, not being handy or knowledgeable about such matters, I called a professional and he took care of it. Others, I had to go slower. I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure- not super out of control … yet … but it was a wake up call to change my diet and get more regular exercise. And other potholes were more difficult to manage, and in fact, we’re still managing. The death of our son, though it’s been nine years. A loss is a loss, and sometimes that loss doesn’t fill back up and there isn’t any getting over it. We only learn to live with it as best we can. 

There are those reading this who have hit similar potholes in life. Some are small and some are big. And like Wisconsin, there will always be potholes in our lives. The very best we can do is take heed, adjust and fix what can be adjusted and fixed, and learn to deal with it as best we can. There is a saying I’ve run across many times: never judge someone else because you may not know what they are dealing with in life. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

Connect with me on Social Media: 

Author Website at

Facebook at:

Instagram at:

Amazon at: /

I recently took part in the Author’s Spot Podcast. It was a little about my life, my writing, and about my newest book, Fan Mail. You can find it at:

I hope you take a little time to listen to it. After sitting for the interview in February, I listened to the edited and polished result this past weekend. I have to tell you the interviewer, K. E. Robinson, did his homework. He knew about my writing and my book, and as a result, it was as simple as having a conversation with him. I learned about myself and I gained some insight into my writing. I think you will enjoy it.

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, 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:

**If you are a blogger, librarian or reviewer, Fan Mail is available on NetGalley for free.**

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?  

Photos Courtesy of Marc Olivier Jodion and Unsplash






No comments:

Post a Comment

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