Sunday, October 15, 2023


In the last part of August, I developed a sciatic nerve problem. At first, it was “just one of those things” one deals with, and I firmly believed it would go away in time. It usually did, but this time, it didn’t. It got worse. Much worse. 

I don’t know what started it, and so far, nothing has worked. I was on three different medications, now only two. The medications didn’t do much, anyway. It was like throwing marshmallows at a tank. I went to urgent care twice and scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. 

Degenerative arthritis, the x-rays showed. The orthopedic specialist said it was moderate to severe. I asked for an MRI, but she said I needed to try physical therapy first. Okay, I’ll try it. 

I go in twice a week for therapy, and I do the exercises he prescribed for me at home. At night, I’m on a heating pad and my legs are propped up with a pillow when I try to sleep. So far, nothing has worked. 

I know I’m not in great shape, but I’ve lost twenty-five pounds, and I try to watch what I eat. Mostly, I watch how much I eat and have cut down considerably.

This November, I turn seventy-years-old, which is still pretty young. My oldest living sister is in her eighties, and my oldest brother is seventy-seven and both are still going strong. 

I’ve always been self-sufficient, but I am finding it is the little things that bother me. 

I now walk with a cane, and I sincerely hope it is temporary. But it bothers me that my leg is not strong enough to use on its own. I am also finding it too painful to put the sock and shoe on my left foot. Kim has to help. I swallow my pride and ask her for help. 

I am also finding it excruciating to drive even a short distance. It doesn’t matter if I drive or if I am a passenger. The pain is almost unbearable, and that is no exaggeration at all. 

The little things, the things I have taken for granted just about my entire life, I cannot do at least for this short time. I pray it is only for a short time. I have taken pride in being self-sufficient. 


Asking for help when I need it. Not driving, but being a passenger. Sometimes sleeping on the couch because I’m afraid my tossing and turning might wake up Kim. Worrying my body is giving away well before it is supposed to. Feeling old before I am old … at least in my mind.

I know I’m on the backside of the mountain, but sixty-nine soon to be seventy is too young, isn’t it? There is still too much I want to do, need to do. Again, I’m hoping and praying this condition is only temporary and not long term. It should be short term. I mean, I’ve had issues with sciatica before and it always went away in a week or two. I don’t understand why this time it lingers.

I guess the point, and I’ve repeated this in most every post, is to appreciate the here and now. To take delight in sunrises and sunsets. Appreciate the smell of freshly cut grass, of homemade bread. To make sure those who are dear to you, know they are dear to you by letting them know not only with words, but with your actions. Because you never know when the next opportunity might be the last opportunity. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference! 

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Fan Mail is now available FOR FREE and it can be found at Book Funnel and at this link:

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:

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!\

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!

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. 

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 Road Trip with Raj.