I believe what makes a story great is how well it communicates to the reader. Whether presenting him with a hero he wishes he could be or a villain he chooses to hate, the characters must relate on a personal level. The reader will leave a good story in an improved condition. He may have learned something new about the world or himself, or simply been well entertained. That’s why I write.

Here you will find posts that range from short-short stories to book chapters and new releases to articles on a variety of topics. Your comments are always welcome.

Holiday Card 2014

Holiday Tradition

Twas the night before Christmas as we sat down to eat,
Getting everyone home had been a herculean feat;

My youngest had been at his soccer club game,
My daughter was out with the boy with no name,
My first born had tried to hang back at his dorm,
My wife went to brave the last-minute shopping swarm.

But now they were here at the dining room table,
I couldn’t have been happier even if I were able,
The feast had been readied, the table well set,
The traditions I cherished just might win out yet.

So I looked ’round the table prepared to say grace,
All the heads were now bowed, I saw nary a face;
I smiled at the sight of my family together
When a sudden small noise came out from the nether.

Twas the tiniest beep, just the hint of a sound
But the meaning it carried was more than profound,
For it wasn’t to pray that their heads were all bent;
The beep was a text that someone had sent.

One by one guilty faces raised up from their lap
As their fingers so nimbly turned off every app.
One by one I went ’round and collected all phones
And declared this a Christmas electronic-free zone.

And thus, in our house, a tradition was born,
One simple rule to which family was sworn:
No devices would run in the holiday season,
No machines that would give us our rhyme or our reason.

Now we talk to each other alive, face to face,
And our laughter and love fill up the whole place;
But you’re welcome to join us, there’s room for more,
Just remember to leave your device at the door.

Copyright 2014 Jack Thompson

Diamonds Never Die (Raja Williams Mystery)

The new Raja Williams Mystery novel, Diamonds Never Die, has just been released.

After an innocent Jewish woman is brutally stabbed in Central Park, Raja and Vinny head to New York to find out why. The case takes Raja undercover into the Harlem drug scene, and puts Vinny into a Russian strip club in Brighton Beach. Stirring the pot as only Raja and Vinny can do lands them both in danger and into the crosshairs of an international assassin known only as the Spider.

The special $.99 release price will be available for the next week.
(Free for Prime Members and Kindle Unlimited Subscribers)

diamonds final scaled

Sue Storm Interviews Raja

On May 3, 2013 Sue Storm, top television reporter for Channel 30 in Los Angeles, interviewed Raja Williams at his home.

Sue: I’m here at the exclusive Clearwater Beach, Florida home of Raja Williams, world renowned private investigator. Thank you for inviting me, Raja.

Raja: My pleasure, Sue.

Sue: To start, tell us a little about how you became a private investigator.

Raja: As you may or may not know, my family history includes a last minute escape from Cuba at the time it fell into Castro’s hands. My father told me many stories about the injustices taking place and always regretted not having done more to help other people. When my parents were killed in a plane crash I inherited a great deal of money, more than anyone could reasonably spend on themselves. I decided that I would honor my father by using my wealth to lend a hand to individuals who are having a difficult time getting justice. The skill set of a private investigator seemed the best way to fulfill that role. So here I am today.

Sue: Very interesting. It’s my understanding that, unlike many other private investigators, you don’t carry a gun. Is that dangerous?

Raja: It’s been my experience that bringing a gun is what tends to escalate situations toward violence. I find that my communication skills are my best weapon. Besides, one of my rules is: He who has the gun last wins. I’m very skilled with guns and, if I need one, I just take it from someone else.

Sue: Since you mentioned it, I did want to ask about “Raja’s Rules” and how those got started.

Raja: Really that was my partner Vinny Moore. She began to collect and number the principles that I try to follow in doing my investigations. She calls them “Raja’s Rules.”

Sue: How many rules are there? Can you give us a couple more examples?

Raja: I don’t know how many there are. You’d have to ask Vinny that.

One is: Don’t sleep with the client. And its corollary: Don’t sleep with the suspect. I have to admit, I learned both of those the hard way.

Another one is: Trust your instincts. In the course of doing investigations I discovered that I have pretty good instincts when it comes to solving a case.

Sue: I’d like to ask more about your instincts. I’ve heard that you have some unusual abilities.

Raja: You might be referring to the headaches I get when I’m getting close to danger. I think of it like the “spidey sense” that Spiderman had. Although I could do without the headache part, it does come in handy when I cross paths with evil.

Sue: Having met you before during a case in Los Angeles, I know you’re not the typical private eye, shooting pictures of marital infidelity from behind some bushes. That case spanned several major crimes and ended up reaching into the governor’s office. Are all your cases so expansive?

Raja: You know, Sue, that case started as a simple murder investigation. However, it reminds me of another one of my rules: If you see a bad situation, you should do something about it. Often when investigating I run across bad things that are not part of my case. I try not to ignore them but to do my best to fix them. I’ve discovered that the world is a lot more connected than it appears.

Sue: It’s my understanding that you are somewhat of a sports car buff. Is it true that you have cars in many cities around the world?

Raja: Yes, I’m addicted to classic roadsters and I do have a number of them garaged in major cities for my use.

Sue: I met your partner Vinny who is not only a talented hacker but a beautiful young woman. You’re both single. Is there anything else going on between you two besides your work together?

Raja: Vinny and I are partners and best of friends but that’s really as far as it goes. You are right though, she is a hacker extraordinaire and a gorgeous babe. You better strike that last part or Vinny will have my head. Did I mention she has a black belt in several martial arts?

Sue: She sounds like a great asset. Are you working on a case right now?

Raja: I just finished a major case in Seattle involving international corporations and environmental pollution. You’ll soon be seeing the fallout from that case in the news.

Sue: I’ll be looking for it. It sounds like great material for a follow-up interview. I appreciate your taking the time to talk to me today, Raja. Keep up the good work.

Raja: Thanks, Sue. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

Raja met Sue Storm while on a case in Los Angeles. Get the details and results of the case here.


It’s time for a Frank Capra

Here in the 21st century we have reached a tipping point. Drastic times require drastic measures. So the saying goes. If it isn’t the omnipresent threat of terrorism, it’s the omnipresent threat of global warming.

There is the religious faction dedicated to bringing Armageddon down upon us. (What’s the matter, can’t you read the signs?) The great scientific minds see an ironically similar version of Armageddon on the horizon, called singularity, where we all burn in a glowing blur of rapid technological advancement racing out of control. How many versions of Windows can there be?

Or, worse than any of those, we suffer from the omnipresence of Democrats. (and Republicans—don’t read anything political into that) It’s either too much government or not enough government, but always the other guy’s fault. Hasn’t that tune gotten old? There just might be a reason that the US Congress has an approval rating that falls on the scale somewhere between Hitler and Satan.

It’s time for a Frank Capra.

There comes a time in every great nation when the tipping point is reached. Where we either go sailing down into the abyss with one last insane whee, or we dig down through the bad news and blame and dust off some of the truth that makes life worth fighting for. There is a reason we all watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year. (or should) There is a reason we cheer for the good guys, the decent guys to win. Deep down every one of us knows that we are good guys.

There will be those who claim a happy ending is trite, that good guys finish last, that you have to fight fire with fire and the punishment must fit the crime. But aren’t those really the rants of those already on the toboggan ride down?

My appeal is to the many who are kind of heart, the forgiving and helpful many who sincerely wish themselves and others to survive and thrive. I know you are out there.

It’s time for a Frank Capra.

We need someone to remind us not of the depraved or despicable few, but of the determined and decent many who provide the backbone of any great civilization. Someone who will lift our spirits above the fray, not grind them into the earth.

It’s time for a Frank Capra.

Why is the world so dangerous?

Read or watch the news on any major media outlet and see headlines like: pet dog suddenly attacks and kills family of three, new strain of deadly bacteria found in common bread, mad cow disease kills man in Wisconsin—you could be next. These and other alarming bits of news assault our senses on a daily, or depending on how much TV you watch, an hourly basis.


Is it any wonder that people don’t trust each other? Is it any wonder that racial, political, religious and economic differences have fractured us apart?

Here’s an idea: take a moratorium from all the bad news. Give yourself a break. Two weeks without one headline or one news blurb. Is there really any information you couldn’t do without? Not one bit.

Try it. No news for two weeks. I warn you, though, it’s not as easy as you think. Think you can simply stop watching the newscast at dinner or late night and avoid the assault? Think again. They’ve got that covered. You’ll still be hit with scare headlines throughout the day and night on the internet and in the middle of television shows. And woven throughout you will be alerted to a wide variety of new illnesses to choose from, coupled with the litanies of horrible side effects should you choose to take the medicines you are being told you must now take.

Try it yourself. Go two weeks–no news, no commercials, no bad news. Take a walk. Talk to a neighbor. See how you feel. You may find the world is a far more pleasant and far less dangerous place than you ever imagined.