Stories from the heart of forgotten places

What’s behind the overdoses happening in their town?

Two seventh graders figure it out, and vow to stop it.

Never Less Book Cover
Illustration and Design by Leah Palmer Preiss.

In the midst of their middle school lives, two twelve-year-olds embark on an extraordinary adventure when they stumble across a secret tunnel. Little do they know, this discovery will lead them on a mission to save their dads, igniting a thrilling investigation full of courage and hope.

Pablo, a spirited and creative Dreamer kid is driven to protect his father from the threat of deportation. However, Mindy, Pablo’s confident and tenacious soccer buddy has a family secret she is dying to share.

United by their mission, they uncover a dangerous secret plaguing their community—the source of these illegal pills and the imminent danger facing both their fathers.

Their fateful quest leads them to an aging sunflower farmer, who becomes their wise mentor and who warns them away from the mill. They nevertheless explore the abandoned mill, and stumble upon a murder in progress. Pablo cannot escape for fear of being found.

Mindy becomes Pablo’s sole connection to the outside world, urging him to resurface and help her protect her father from the allure of the pills. Will this fearless duo risk their families and their own lives to halt the alarming spread of overdoses?

This story soars in its power to remind readers that loyalty and an unwavering bond of a true friend can overcome even the most difficult grown-up problems.

“Never Less” is an empowering and timely tale, providing older middle-grade readers and their parents with an adventurous yet safe exploration of the complexities surrounding the opioid crisis. Ride this riveting adventure that delves into the depths of loyalty and friendship. With each turn of the page, whether you’re twelve or a hundred and twelve, you’ll be captivated by this thrilling novel that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

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Gripping, entertaining, and impactful... A solid read!

From the Prairies Book Review: Sept 19, 2023

The Drug crisis and murder add a thrilling allure to this middle-grade drama as two pre-teens find themselves entangled in a dangerous conspiracy in Wells’ engrossing debut installment in The Pablo & Mindy Mysteries. Mindy comes from a well-off family while Pablo is the son of immigrants. Despite their different backgrounds, the twelve-year-olds share a close bond of friendship. Set in the North Fork of Long Island, this contemplative, character-driven story examines weighty topics, including the opioid crisis and immigration issues, with compassion and understanding. Throughout the narrative, both Mindy and Pablo show meaningful growth, and the secondary characters are nuanced in their development. Wells’ expert prose keeps both the tension and the suspense high, resulting in a mystery that expertly builds to a shocking, satisfying reveal. A gripping middle-grade drama, grounded by serious themes of drugs and immigration.


Loved it!

This would be a wonderful book to read aloud as a family and could lead to good discussions about important issues teens or their family and friends may encounter. Never Less offers just the right amount of suspense and mystery for young readers and a satisfactory conclusion that shows a model of a family walking through a dark time and coming out closer and stronger. I love the message that family is worth fighting for–no matter what the cost.

~Reedsy Discovery reviewer


A great book for readers of all ages:
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Geoffrey Wells’s Trilogy for Freedom, I was eager to read Never Less, a thriller centered around the opioid crisis and aimed at middle-school readers. This novel explores themes of friendship, family, and crime through the eyes of two thoroughly engaging twelve-year-olds, Pablo and Mindy. You don’t have to be a young teen to love this terrific book. ~ Amazon 5-star review


“Never Less deals with a difficult and highly-charged subject in a thoughtful way.  Author Geoffrey Wells has taken great care to craft an empathetic novel that will spark important conversations with middle school students.”

~Jeannie Moon – Librarian and USA Today bestselling author of adult fiction. 


“Never Less is a compelling story
told through the eyes of two engaging and very likable
12-year olds. Their bravery and friendship made me want them to succeed against a truly evil villain and kept me reading until the riveting ending.”

~Dr. Lawrence Walser, M.D.


“Nicely paced with a few unexpected twists which kept the momentum going. I comfortably read it in one session. It has an interesting take on the drug scene . . .
It is certainly a thought provoking novel.”

~Laurie Robertson


What I liked best about this story is how much these kids value their friendship. Though they are from different backgrounds, they are, in every sense of the word, simpatico. In an ideal world, young people shouldn’t have to deal with adult problems. But we know better. Sometimes, they have no choice. And in Never Less, they do not shy away from their responsibility.

~Steven Ramirez

“This is not just a story about addiction, but a story about two teens who care so much about their fathers that they are willing to do anything to keep them safe. Pablo and Mindy are wise beyond their years, and their tenacity and big hearts showcase the importance of family, biological or chosen.”

~Lindsay Larris, MSW, LCSW, LCADC,
licensed therapist and alcohol and drug counselor


Plot that keeps you turning the pages, setting with a history, and characters you care about. NEVER LESS has it all. This refreshing book for young readers brings two characters from different worlds together to face serious problems that most American communities are grappling with, the opioid problem and the perennial problem immigrants face regarding their citizenship status. 

Mindy comes from a well-healed family, the father a doctor but also an addict. Pablo is a child of immigrants who could be deported at any time.  

When the two friends discover suspicious goings-on at an old mill on the Long Island Sound, they decide to investigate with the help of an old timer who knows the history of the place. They face heart-stopping danger, keeping those pages turning. 

NEVER LESS treats the young readers as if they have the brains to face the problems in their world. The main characters, Mindy, and Pablo are relatable, an essential in a good book for this readership.  

Don’t miss this one. You will want to hear more about Mindy and Pablo. 

~ Linda Frank


“I found this to be a unique book, allowing our family to look at the opioid epidemic. (It was) a safe way for our kids to discuss what was happening in their schools. I cannot rate this novel high enough. We all need to look at this epidemic, and what our parts are in this. If we join together like these two kids did can we help to curb it?”  
And her daughter said . . .
“After talking and knowing that someone else understands, Pablo and Mindy begin to see a way to help their families.  I really liked this novel.  We shared it together as a family.  I think discussing Never Less with my mom made this novel easier to talk about the difficult things in it.” ~SRR.

The Trilogy for Freedom

Will a war heroine turned activist drown in a Long Island wetland? Delve into her psyche as she weighs her choice to care against her freedom to belong.

Watch the interview.

Read about the books of the Trilogy below.


Book One:
A thriller about a quest for freedom in a nation struggling for its own liberation.

He faked her death to escape the secret police.

Gida works for the shipping company and knows too much. Three warring factions on the verge of revolution want the name of the ship with a cargo of guns. Raf, a student on vacation, helps her escape across the border by faking her death. But the lovers split up, disagreeing about their commitment to freedom. Loveless years slip by until Raf gets a blackmail note. Facing ruin, he must prove he did not murder Gida in Mozambique. As if destined to be forever caught up in a fado, his regret and melancholy from the Portuguese folk song compels him to find her. Yearning to be liberated from his emotional apathy, he must uncover her treacherous life—as a double agent.

He must find her.

Book Two:
The FBI tells her they are trading ivory on her website. They say she can help.
She doesn't believe them.
But she must...

Passionate to regain her online status with composers she refuses to be a victim. In New York, they team her up with a Tanzanian street vendor but this no place to track down warlords who fund their wars by killing elephants. Drawn deeper into the mission they go undercover to infiltrate the black markets of Dar es Salaam. The mission quickly falls apart when she’s captured and forced to witness the poisoning of elephants at a waterhole. Her handlers can no longer be trusted. However, a clue in her music helps her partner to spring her from the warlord hideout. They run. They go dark and fall in love on a dhow headed for Mombasa. Are they headed into oblivion or will they return to New York changed forever?

Book Three:.
An eco-thriller about finding belonging
in a lost ecosystem.
Two women protecting a bay...
their way.

Does she lose her way in this heartbreakingly real eco-thriller?

To stay free Allison must keep a secret from a young refugee boy: his activist mother is never coming home. With the hacking skills that sent her to prison, she has, on her release, discovered the activist’s unpublished blog. She’s left her family and her adopted boy, to fight for the bay.

About me and my books

My books draw from my involvement in the environment.  I have observed elephants in Botswana, farmed oysters with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, and have videotaped five seasons of Long Island Grown, a lecture series with farmers and chefs for the Peconic Land Trust. I participate in triathlons and swim the open water of Peconic Bay.

Read my biography

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