Saturday, May 9, 2020

New Byron Lehman Novel

The novel, A Good Year On Belle Ile en Mer is now available on Amazon. 

It is a part of a larger novel, The Pilgrim’s Return, a Rich Larsen adventure. The reason for publishing it as a separate work has to do with the story; it deviates somewhat from the adventure novel. It is a love story.
There are those who prefer love over action. The love story is so compelling it deserves to stand on its own.
The protagonist, Rich Larsen, sails to an island, Belle Ile en Mer, on Biscay Bay off the French coast. What started as only a stop-over of a few days turns into a year.
He helps friends with a project of remodeling a chateau into a hotel. He gains new friendships. However, and most importantly, he meets Bridgette. This simple farm girl becomes the love of his life.
You are invited to enjoy Rich Larsen’s good year on Belle Ile en Mer.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

New Byron Lehman Novel Just Released

The novel, The Pilgrim’sReturn is now available on Amazon. 

It is the seventh novel in the Rich Larsen adventure series.
This novel finishes Rich Larsen’s seven-year journey that started as a fifteen-year-old farm boy in Ohio. At that time, he became perplexed by the events around him with no real guidance on how to interpret or deal with them. Thus, he runs away from home—and his adventures begin.
Rich Larsen’s adventures start on the coast of Maine. He lives there for three years. Circumstances necessitate that he abruptly left. He sets out on his desire to sail around the world.
He first sails to South America, through the Strait of Magellan. He next finds himself in the South Seas. Then off to adventures in Australia. Africa is the next stop.
Here are the previous Rich Larsen novels:
The Pilgrim’s Return takes the reader from the intrigue left behind in the novel, African Escapade. Rich visits the Canary Islands, the island of Madeira, and a year on Belle Ile en Mer off the coast of France in the Bay of Biscay.
The novel includes encounters with a former middleweight boxing champ, an international assassin, and unscrupulous treasure hunters. It would be remiss not to mention Rich Larsen also finds love.
The year Rich lives on Belle Ile en Mer is in the novel, The Pilgrim’sReturn, but that year is also a novel on its own. It is titled, A Good Year On Belle Ile en Mer. It will soon be available on Amazon.
You are certain to enjoy The Pilgrim’s Return.
Good reading, my friends.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Bitterness and Beer

(This is an excerpt from a Rich Larsen adventure series novel currently being edited.)

Eighteen days from Plymouth in choppy seas, Newfoundland appeared starboard. He passed within hailing distance of a fishing boat with a four-man crew bundled in heavy clothing. They exchanged waves and shouts.

“I need some land beneath me,” Rich thought, “but I don’t want to be facing another five to seven days more after resting a while.”

He obtained a reading and decided to go on for another four days and find a port on the southwest tip of Nova Scotia. “From there Rockland is a day or two away.”

“I can almost feel it,” Rich said and danced a jig but for only a moment. “This is insanity.”

The weather warmed only a few degrees over the next four days. The temperatures ranged in the twenties to thirties. Rich bundled heavily while on deck; most in the confines of a closed pilothouse.

Rich scanned a map of Nova Scotia and decided on a small port named Clark’s Harbor. It sat on the southern tip of Nova Scotia and appeared easy to navigate.

Rich dropped the sails about a mile from land. Beyond the starboard bow, a small harbor basked in a warm early winter sun. He piloted The Odyssey along a row of lobster boats until finding several empty slips.

He tossed the lines and secured The Odyssey. He walked from the dock onto the shore. He lifted himself up and down from toe to heel a couple of times. “North America,” Rich smiled.

The Odyssey remained stocked and Rich saw little need to buy more food. He had two propane tanks filled at a small gas station not far from the docks.
A bar sat within sight of The Odyssey. It was only about fifty yards away. Rich walked there. He sat at a table and ordered a beer and lobster tail with a baked potato.

Seeing Rich was done eating the waitress walked past the table and stopped. “How was your meal?” she said.

“It was very good, thank you,” Rich said.

“Are you planning dessert?” she said.

“Can you wrap a piece of cherry pie to go,” Rich said, “and bring a coffee with the check.”

“Right back,” she said.

A couple of minutes later she returned with coffee, pie wrapped in cellophane on a paper plate, and the check. “Where’d you drive from?” She said.

“I sailed in,” Rich said. “My boat is in the harbor.”

“Where did you sail from?” she said.

“England,” Rich said.

“It must have been bone-chilling,” a man sitting at the bar said.

“Indeed,” Rich said. “My boat has an unusual feature; it has a small canvass pilothouse. It was still cold but I didn’t freeze to death.”

“You must have really wanted to get back to Canada,” the man said. “The North Atlantic this time of year is no easy thing.”

“Actually,” Rich said, “Maine is the end of my journey.”
“Where did you start?” the man said.

“Maine,” Rich said.

“So back and forth?” the man said.

“No,” Rich smiled. “I sailed around.”

“How long did it take you?” the man said.

“Just over four years,” Rich said.

“Well if you ask me,” the man said, “that’s a wasted four years.”

Rich stood and placed his money on the table. “And what did you do for the last four years?” He grabbed his pie. “Fine meal, ma’am,” he said to the waitress.”

“Sounds like you’re a bit of a smart ass,” the man said.

“No, sir,” Rich said, “I’m not that. What I’ve done, what I’ve seen, what I’ve learned, those I’ve met, and most importantly the one I love can not be taken from me. It was worth it all. It is better than bitterness and beer.”

Rich turned toward the door. The man said something however it was muffled and was certain it was not meant to be heard.

Rich returned to The Odyssey.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sheep Dip and Armpits

They’re playing some music I can dance to,” Rich said. He sat his glass of wine down. “I spoke with an attractive young lady a few minutes ago; Fifi, Dee Dee, or Wee Wee. I think I will regale her with my exploits at sea while I impress her with my mesmerizing dancing.”
Rich danced one song with Fifi, though attractive and pleasant, had a terrible underarm odor. He thanked her and grabbed an olive from the snack table.
Claude stood away from the crowd and watched the conversation and dancing.
Rich walked up next to him. “Hello, Claude, we haven’t had much of a chance to get acquainted.”
That is right,” Claude said.
I’m curious,” Rich said, “how many sheep do you have?”
Why do you want to know?” Claude said.
Annoyed, Rich puckered his lips and wondered how to reply.
Honestly,” Rich said, “I don’t care if you have sheep or jackasses, I’m just trying to be friendly and make conversation.”
You have not succeeded,” Claude said.
How so?” Rich said.
I have not told you how many sheep I have,” Claude said.
But I have succeeded in getting you to talk to me a little bit,” Rich said.
Claude walked away and asked Fifi to dance. He was a clumsy dancer, stiff with no rhythm.
The odor of sheep dip and armpits," Rich thought, "how romantic to a French sheepherder.” 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Professor Hamilton's Advice To Writers

Professor Hamilton stood before his last class of the semester.
Hamilton himself was moderately successful as a writer. While a professor he’d slowed down his production, but wrote three novels in the last ten years and a nonfiction work on writing.
Professor Hamilton smiled at his class. “Fifty-two students this semester, some serious, some not, most who are serious show promise. And those who don’t show promise, don’t give up. If you don’t give up, you will likely succeed where those who show the most promise fail?”
This is the last day of class,” Hamilton said. “What is it you want to hear? Any questions?”
How long did you write before you published your first novel?”
Hamilton grinned. “Forever, or so it seemed. I wrote for ten years. Finally I wrote something good. Then I wrote a couple of things good. And then I was able to sell all my bad stuff.” He chuckled. “Somebody had to pay for all those years. I had people to pay back.”
The class laughed.
Another question,” Hamilton said delighting at the opportunity.
What was the best writing advice you ever received?”
It was all good,” Hamilton said seriously. “Of course, you can’t use all of it, because some of it is conflicting. So here it is: find your own voice, write your own story, write it honestly, if not sure about grammar make it a quote, bad spelling justifies the existence of proofreaders and nowadays we have spell-checks, and don’t try to be fancy; write simple.”
Another question,” Hamilton beckoned.
How much do you take the advice of editors?”
Listen to them,” Hamilton said. “Then listen to yourself. You are the author. That word eventually becomes an authority. Think of it this way; if you write 500 pages and edit it yourself to 400, the editor will edit it down to 300. If you started with 300 they will whittle it down to 200. If you hand them something less than 200 they’ll say that’s not enough. Write your best. Keep a little in there for the editor to feel good about himself, but if you are sure of something stick to your guns. Remember, editors are jealous of your ideas.”
Any more questions,” Hamilton said.
That seemed to be all the class had.
Write good stuff,” Hamilton said. He waved and winked.
The class stood and applauded.
Hamilton stopped and held his hands up to quiet the students.
There’s one more thing,” Hamilton said. “Some of you will write and sell. Likely my words will go unheeded. Careful what you write. Your writing may awaken demons in people or make goodness arise. When I was young my mother had me read nothing but good. That’s why I always tell my students to write good stuff. Don’t allow your minds to wander into the perverse and call it creativity. Write a story that is good rather than one that will titillate. Write about virtue, character, principle, and goodness. Your work influences people. If you have that special gift to write well, write about good stuff.”
Hamilton nodded politely and exited the side door.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Looking For Kindness

Henry opened the door to the lobby for the old lady. She was neatly dressed, lightly perfumed, recently to a salon and serene in appearance.
She smiled. “Thank you, young man.”
He walked faster than she did and got to the open elevator door. He stepped in, turned as he was about to push the button for his floor, and noticed the old lady was walking toward the elevator also. He held the door for her.
Thank you again,” she smiled.
What floor,” Henry asked.
12th,” the old lady said.
Henry pushed 12.
You are so kind,” the old lady said.
I suppose you find that people aren’t as polite as they used to be, there‘s a lot of rudeness nowadays,” Henry said as the elevator slowly moved up.
She smiled. “You have been very kind to me this morning, may I share a kindness with you?”
I’d like that,” Henry said.
A long time ago I used to think the same thing,” she said, “and I began to count the acts of kindness compared to the acts of rudeness. To my surprise when I looked for kindness I found it. In fact, it outnumbered rudeness 10 to 1. I just rechecked my figures a couple of days ago and nothing has changed.”
Thank you,” Henry said.
Here’s where I get off,” she said. “Have a nice day, young man.”
You too, ma’am,” Henry said, “and by the way that’s kindness, one and rudeness, zero.”

Monday, February 3, 2020


When can I pick up my laundry?”
Any time after five PM on Thursday.”
What if I show up at midnight?”
No problem, we’re open 24/7.”
It means we’re open 24 hours 7 days a week.”
Why didn't you just say, all the time?”
Because that’s what 24/7 means.”
Not really. It doesn’t tell you what happens after seven days. After being open 24 hours a day for seven days you might close up for a week and where would my laundry be?”
I assure you we will always be open.”
Why not say for eternity?”
Well, I suppose it’s because this place won’t last for eternity?”
You seem so sure. Can you at least give me a time-framed beyond seven days and eternity.”
Everyone assumes 24/7 means all the time.”
Everyone doesn’t.”
I didn’t.”
Okay, almost everyone.”
Than why not at least give yourself some leeway on your hours? Almost 24/7.”

Friday, January 31, 2020

Bus Route

For six years Charley rode the same bus. It traveled the same route for 45 minutes where he got off at the same stop and walked two blocks home. Nearly the same people occupied the bus every day.
A curious little old man; with a cane, a three-piece suit, and a smile climbed onto the bus at the same stop. Charley and he got off at the same stop. They never spoke.
The old man had a routine; every Monday. Wednesday, and Friday one week and only Tuesday and Thursday the next. It never varied. 
How could he smile?” Charley thought.
After six years the old man sat next to Charley and smiled. “Milton Harper,” he said.
Charles Marshall, but they call me Charley.”
Pleased to meet you, Charley,” Milton said.
Likewise, Milton,” Charley said.
I know you have a question,” Milton said. “I can tell by the way you look at me and you look away and wonder.”
Charley smiled. “You have remarkable powers of perception. Excuse me, but I mean no offense. You are considerably older than me. You have been riding this bus route probably longer than I’ve been alive. How do you do it? I’ve considered buying another car for myself just to take my own route to and from downtown.”
You no doubt note I alternate days on alternate weeks,” Milton said.
Yes,” Charley said. “I know when you’re scheduled to ride this bus.”
You too are a keen observer,” Milton said.
What else is there to do?” Charley said chuckled.
On the day you don’t see me on the bus I ride another bus that takes me to within three blocks of this stop,” Milton said. “It’s a little further to walk, but a pleasant walk. There are a few shops and cafes on the way. I sometimes stop for a coffee or a snack to tie me over until supper. There is also a fine bookstore on the way. And there is something of particular interest to you.”
What could that be?” Charley said.
A flower shop,” Milton said. “You have a wedding band. Wives like flowers. You know how they like those little knick-knacks and frilly things. There are a few of those places too.”
Do you mind if I walk with you tomorrow?” Charley said.
Certainly,” Milton said. “That would be fun. I’ll introduce you to everyone.”
Why don’t you go that way every day?” Charley said. “It sounds like you could never get bored by walking that way.”
Some days I just want to get home early,” Milton said. “But lately I’ve been watching you. You just seem to stare into space. That’s why I sat next to you today. I wanted to know what was bothering you.”
You’re never bored are you, Milton?” Charley said.
There are so many people to worry about,” Milton said. “How could I possibly be bored?”

Monday, January 27, 2020


Look at poor old Joe over there.”

Yeah, sure looks like he got the wrong end of the stick.”

Does anybody ever get the right end of the stick?”

Sure, they do.”

How come you never hear about it?”

What do you mean?”

Nobody ever says look at old Joe over there, it sure looks like he’s got the right end of the stick.”

Let’s go see if Joe has the wrong end of the stick with him.


So if somebody ever tries to hand us the wrong end of the stick we can say no thanks, give me the other end.”

I ain’t gonna bother Joe. After getting the wrong end of the stick he might not feel like discussing it with anybody.”

Yeah, that’s not a thing you talk about very much.”

That leaves the question, where are all the right ends of the sticks and where do they make ‘em?”

There should be some sort of public service announcement to warn people what the wrong end of the stick looks like.”

If we could have just one we could find out which end of the stick is the good one or bad one.”

Look there! It’s a stick.”

Don’t pick it up. It might be the wrong end.”

Both ends look alike.”

There has to be a way of knowing without picking it up.”

Let’s ask Joe. He would know.”

Nah, can you really trust a guy who’s already got the wrong end of the stick?”

Yeah, that’s risky. Misery loves company.”

We definitely need a public service announcement.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Release of New Novel by Byron Lehman

It gives great pleasure to announce the release of my 15th novel and 6th in the Rich Larsen Adventure Series. The novel is titled African Escape
The premise of the Rich Larsen books is to chronicle the saga of a young man driven from home and his
adventures of sailing around the world. 
The last adventure, Ere The Ghan And After, took place in Australia. In African Escape Rich finishes a voyage across the Indian Ocean and makes port on the east coast of South Africa.
His adventure starts from the moment he steps ashore. He helps two desperate men escape from a brutal national police force.
They sail to the other side of Africa and come across a cache of diamonds. The gems are part of a struggle between US government covert agents, an unsavory criminal mastermind, and despotic leaders who want them.
The novel takes the reader to places like Dakar and Zanzibar, not to mention a desert ghost town. And along the way, unforgettable, compelling, good, and bad characters.
It is available now on Amazon digitally or in paperback.
You will enjoy every episode of Rich’s adventure; African Escape.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Character Dies

I live 2,000 miles from where born and raised. Occasionally I read the obits from back home. There was one today that effected me deeper than most. It was a former schoolmate.
We were good friends for only a short time.
We were teammates on a pony league baseball team. He played shortstop. He really loved baseball and all sports for that fact but not very good at any of them.
He was spunky, smiled a lot, and the slowest runner I’ve ever come across. He could hit a slow roller deep to short and be thrown out with lob before he got halfway to first. However, his enthusiasm was infectious and whenever you saw him coming you were in for a good time. He was one of the best baseball teammates I ever had and a crafty and gutsy schoolyard quarterback.
After pony league, we drifted apart for a while. School friendships are like that—phases.
He tried out for sports but usually never made it beyond the first cut.
Our junior year in high school his girlfriend became pregnant. In those days a guy did the right thing; married the girl and made a go of it.
I was his best man. It was not so much we were that great of friends but it was most likely I was most aware of the plight before him and sympathetic toward it.
He got a job at a local supermarket. He bagged groceries; worked morning till night. He continued to attend school. He and his wife rented a small apartment. Man, he had a tough row to hoe but he made it. Eventually became a meat cutter—a good one. He made it—all the way to 72 and died.
The first marriage, as expected, ended in a divorce. He married again—42 years.
There are so many images of this wire-haired energetic bundle of laughs and smiles that it’s difficult for my mind to rest on just one. They seem to all run together in a bowl of nostalgic stew.
After high school, we made some effort to pal around but it never seemed to catch on. We moved in different directions on many levels. 
He impressed me so much I used him as a character in one of my novels.
A few days ago I spoke to my son about a character that needed to be developed for a novel I’m writing. The problem; for the story work the way envisioned the character must die.
Two things have given me pause for sober reflection: First, when my old school chum/teammate died it was as if the character died who you intended to have immortality on the page. Secondly how Jehovah, our creator, must feel about death, all deaths; creatures created to live forever, die.
(Revelation 21:4, 5) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Monday, January 13, 2020

Everybody's Gotta Get Somethin'

You’re gonna get yours someday.”
I already got mine.”
Ya do!”
What does it look like?”
Ya don’t know?”
Ha! Ya don’t have yours yet and I got mine!”
Maybe mine will be different than yours.”
They're all the same. Everybody who got their’s knows that.”
Will ya show me yours, so when I get mine I know if I have it or not?”
No way, pal. Ya gotta wait but there’s one thing for sure; ya got it comin’ to ya.”