Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Magic of Sunshine

The last couple of days, it was cold and gray, cloudy, wet and rainy. If it wasn’t raining, it was misting and threatening to rain. And when it wasn’t raining, you could smell the rain in the air. All in all, rather depressing.

I’ve often wondered how the folks in Seattle and the surrounding area stand it. I worked with a colleague in Southern California when I was a counselor, who wanted to move to Seattle because he liked the rain. I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t understand it now. 

Living in Southern California was a unique case altogether. It seldom rained, and it seldom got too cold. You didn’t have to wear sixteen layers of clothes in the winter like in Wisconsin to stay warm. Just jeans and a sweatshirt or light jacket. But I remember one December when it rained all or parts of about 40 days straight. Most of us searched backyards to see if Noah or someone was building an arc. But eventually, the rain stopped, and the sun shone like normal. 

Being a weatherman in Southern California has to be one of the most boring jobs in the world. In fact, one station hired a standup comedian, Fritz Coleman, to do the weather, and at least he could make it entertaining. He was a weatherman, not a meteorologist. Different animals. 

I understand the benefits of different seasons, just like I understand the benefits of rain. It’s needed to make things grow. Grass, trees, flowers, animals. People. It’s just that I am more of a fan of sunshine than I am of rain. 

Today, I woke up to a bright blue sky and the warmth of the sun, and I could feel my spirits lifting. My youngest, Emily, is a social worker, and she is convinced the weather plays a part in how people are feeling, because she sees changes in her clients when the weather changes. I have long believed this, too. I also believe there is something to the full moon, but I’ll save that for a different post someday. 

When the sun is shining and I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, I find myself smiling more. My mood is lighter. I’m happier, certainly not as grumpy, though I think I’m seldom grumpy.

There is something to be said about how weather affects one’s outlook and mood. We can set our minds on our mood and try to change it on our own, and there is something to be said about that, too. I do think one’s outlook is a choice. Much like the choice to act or react to what is taking place around us. But heck, being in the sunshine makes it a lot easier, don’t you think? Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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A lot will happen when it does! There is a Seven Day Book Blog Tour that begins with three book bloggers sharing their thoughts on Fan Mail on the 30th, and that continues for the next seven days. There will also be special activities associated with the Fan Mail, and some of my other books, in the weeks that follow.

April will be a busy month! I have two book sales and signings taking place at two different local libraries, along with a regional craft fair I’m taking part in. The first event is April 1st at Howell Library in Stafford County from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. I’ll have copies of all my books for sale and signing, and if you go to my Facebook and Instagram pages, you will find details as they get closer.

I 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:

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 UNTIL MARCH 30TH.**

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 Todd Kent and Unsplash

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