Sunday, April 16, 2023


I wander from room to room, trying to absorb the energy that was once there just twenty-four hours previously. The house full of laughter and games, food, and the opening of presents. At times, quiet conversation. 

I don’t mind silence usually. I relish it at times. Just not today. 

The morning after. 

Bellies full of pancakes. Conversation and reminiscing at the kitchen table. Packing up and loading their cars. Getting ready for their trek home, as I build up my nerve, my strength, hating to see them go. 

Emily and Kim planned, decorated, and organized Hannah’s baby shower. I was mostly a bystander, running some errands. We had expected a party for fourteen, but it grew- happily so- to twenty. Mostly in the background, I watched Hannah open the presents, laugh, and talk with her friends. I watched Emily and Kim, the grandmasters of the party, do their thing.

Such a happy time. A joyous time. 

And then … after a night of laughter and stories, morning breakfast and more stories and reminiscing, Hannah and Emily got ready to leave. 

Emily packed up to go back to Greensboro, four and a half hours away to her new life as a social worker, helping her clients pick up the pieces and heal their hurts. Hannah packed up to head back to Richmond, an hour away, where she will finish up her year as a third grade teacher and prepare for her son to be born in just ten or so weeks. Leaving Kim and me alone. 


Normally my friend, my respite. My opportunity to recharge, to think, to plan, to read and write. 

And it dawned on me, not for the first time, how proud I am of Hannah and Emily, how much my heart bursts with love for them. Hannah and Emily - sisters and friends. My … our … daughters. Proud of who they have become and grown to be. Proud of the life they have made for themselves. Proud of their choices, their decisions. Knowing there have been a few missteps along the way, but many more successes paving the way for their life and what lies ahead. 

But for the first time, I realized that as happy as I am about their life, their success, I am sad. Sad that while I am dad, and will always be dad, they have their own lives to attend to. Plans they are working on to make happen. Work on, well, life. Their life. 

Hannah, a year into her marriage with a baby on the way. Their first child. Our first grandchild. Emily, planning for her wedding. House hunting. In two weeks, wedding dress shopping with Kim and Hannah. 

And it isn’t just the physical distance they are away from me, from Kim and me. It is the distance created by Kim’s and my success in raising two wonderful, beautiful kids, now young ladies. Two young women successfully launched into the world, who are now embarking on their own lives, creating their own path. 


Knowing that their lives, rightfully so, will become busier with their own husbands, their own families. Knowing that their own families will take, in some respect, precedence over Kim and me. Again, as it should be.

But the success Kim and I had in raising two beautiful kids has become a double-edged sword. While it cuts the path they are embarking on, it also cuts the cord to Kim and me. Not totally, but enough to make it hurt. Enough to leave a lump in my throat each time they leave to go … home. Each time they visit and not stay longer, because they have to go back to their own lives.

So the silence this morning, this day, is not restful and soothing and kind as it normally is for me. The silence I feel this morning is cold and unwelcome and painful. On the one hand, I am happy and proud of them. On the other, I am sad that Kim and I will somehow become less in their lives as they grow their families and live their lives. Kim and I will diminish as they become more. Again, as it should be. I’m just not ready for that yet. Maybe I’ll get there. I’m sure I will. Just. Not. Yet. Please. Something to think about … 

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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 our dear friend, Sheri Pierce

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