I have decided a long time ago that where one lives is a house, but a house is not necessarily a home. It can be, but often it is not.
To me, a home is where there is light and love, hope and dreams. A home is not only a place where one is comfortable, but where one is comforting. There is satisfaction in a home that one doesn’t necessarily have in a house.
I’ve lived in multiple states in my lifetime, sometimes by myself, and sometimes with my wife and kids. Each was an experience, to be sure, and I think I am who I am because of these experiences.
At age twenty-two, my first job as a professional was in Wyoming. Not the pretty part with mountains and lakes, but the east, central sand hills that surrounded the small dots (sometimes called towns, but truly hardly qualified as such) of Yoder, Veteran, Hawk Springs, and Huntley. The “big” city nearby was Torrington, and a bit further to the east is Scottsbluff, Nebraska. I could always drive forty-five minutes or an hour to Cheyenne, or several hours south to Denver, but why?
I split time living in Yoder and Torrington by myself for three years while I taught and coached. After winning a state championship, I was recruited to coach at the collegiate level, so I moved to Omaha and was a graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. My job was recruiting and scouting, but I found the time to earn a master’s degree in counseling, besides working three jobs just to keep myself barely financially afloat.
After, I came back to my home state of Wisconsin, where I taught and coached for five years before becoming a counselor in a neighboring district. I lived about nine enjoyable months with my brother Jim and his family before moving to an apartment or two. After six years, I moved to California because, well, I had never been there, and at that time, I was interested in writing and movies and such.
It was in California where I met my wife and together, raised three kids before moving back to Wisconsin.
I think that was the first time in a long, long time I stumbled on the concept of home. That was where Kim, and Wil, and Hannah, and Emily were. That was my home. It didn’t matter if it was one of the two houses we rented or the house Kim and I built in the high desert, I had a home.
The concept of home crystallized for me two weeks ago at the service of my sister, Mary, when her daughter Annie gave her tribute to her mom. What she said was simple and pure, yet so deeply moving and sad, that it hit home to me. Annie said, and I’m paraphrasing rather poorly, “My mom was my home, and now that she’s gone, I don’t have a home anymore.”
It bears repeating: “My mom was my home, and now that’s she’s gone, I don’t have a home anymore.”
A home isn’t four walls and a roof, though in part, I guess, it is. But like Jesus said in Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
For Annie, it was her mom and my sister, Mary. Mary was Annie’s “home.”
For me, my home is Kim, my two daughters Hannah and Emily, and Hannah’s husband Alex and their child- my grandson Mason, and Emily’s fiancée Q. My home is my son Wil and his wife Maria.
It doesn’t matter the house we live in or where that house is. My home, my heart, and my treasure, are and will always be my wife and my kids. It doesn’t matter how old I am or how old they are. They are my home and will always be: my home. Something to think about …
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As I mentioned at the beginning, Fan Mail is now available FOR FREE and it can be found at Book Funnel and at this link: https://books.bookfunnel.com/endofsummerbookblowout/enp4tnldmk
Fan Mail: A Reader’s Favorite Silver Book Award Winner! A Maxy Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Award Nominee, and 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?
Fan Mail is a coming-of-age story embedded in a tight thriller-mystery. It is told through Brian’s eyes, who holds his brothers and his family, first and foremost, in his heart. This time, it might cost him his life.
You can leave a rating and review at this link after you read it: https://amzn.to/3eNgSdS
My other books in order of most recent to oldest:
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!
Blaze In, Blaze Out is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://www.audible.com/acx-promo\
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. https://amzn.to/34lNllP
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! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS
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. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
Would you recognize a serial killer if one spoke to you? Vincent and Shirley didn’t, and now they’re dead!
He blends in, is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern, no clues, and 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, and neither does their family or local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com
Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka
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. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696
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. https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
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. https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
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. https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
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? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
Photos courtesy of Luke Stackpoole, Taylor Maine, and the Lewis Family