Newsletters/Blogs Unusual Sources

In this world of frantic blogging and newsletters, I get an influx (as I am sure everyone does) into my Inbox.

But, this morning, I got a newsletter from, of all places, my dentist. Yes, you heard me right. My dentist now sends out a monthly newsletter.

So, what can a dentist blog about? Well here’s a sneak peak.

Your child’s sippy cup. Is it friend or foe?  Well, as someone who takes care of children on daily basis, I will tell you the answer to that one. It is not only a friend, but a necessity. Spills happen enough even with the awesome sippy cups!


Bye Bye Buck Teeth! How to overcome an overbite. This one is very dental related and fits with the theme, but the title made me think of “Bye Bye Birdie.”


Alcohol is everywhere. Are hidden sources hurting your teeth? Hidden sources of alcohol? Where? I keep my alcohol out in the open. And if the hidden sources are hurting your teeth, just think of what the out-in-the-open sources are doing.


I’m not posting this to poke fun at my dentist. In fact, quite the contrary. Kudos to him for stepping out into the world of blogging and newsletters!

By the way, he is an awesome dentist. I never cringe when I have to go for an appointment – well, except for the $$$ that are going to fly out of my pocket.

Do you receive newsletters or blogs from unusual sources? What is the most unusual you’ve ever received? I’d love to hear from you.

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A Lady Who Walked her Talk #RRBC – Kathryn Treat

Once in a great while, someone comes along in life who is unforgettably kind, compassionate and giving. For the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, that woman was the late Kathryn Treat.


Kathryn was an honorary board member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, where she served as Membership Director from Dec. 2013, until September, 2014.  Kathryn is the author of “ALLERGIC TO LIFE:  MY BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL, COURAGE AND HOPE”  .  She inspired and encouraged many with this book so if you have not had the pleasure of reading it, please head to Amazon and get your copy.  


The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is dedicated to honoring Kathryn as “she was one of the most supportive members we had…not just to one, but to all.”

Join us in celebrating Kathryn’s life today and pick up a copy of her inspirational book. In her own words, it is the story of her battle for survival, courage and hope! Click here to order!

For more information about Kathryn Chastain Treat and why we honor her, click here!

Curious about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB? It is a community of writers and readers who support, encourage, promote and propel each other! Sound like a good fit for you? If you join , please tell them Jan Sikes sent you!



Inspiring and Unforgettable are two words used often in reference to Author, Gwendolyn M. Plano’s deeply personal and moving story!


As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.

This book has a ton of 5 STAR reviews and I invite you to take a look!


Gwen is also an active and supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB community.  Have you heard of RRBC?? It is a community of writers and readers who support, encourage, promote and propel each other. You’ll not find another community like this anywhere!

Sound like something that might fit your philosophy in life? If so, take a look. If you join, please tell them JAN SIKES sent you!

And don’t forget to check out Gwen’s story.

New Release from Author, Linda Broday

texas-ranger-final  THE MEN OF LEGEND SERIES – BOOK 1

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Linda Broday releases the first book in THE MEN OF LEGEND series. Some Legends are made and some are born! 

The state of Texas has 268,597 square miles so it’s no wonder we have huge ranches to match the size. Some are simply too enormous to comprehend. So I had no trouble setting a big ranch here for my latest Men of Legend series. I wanted it as big and bold as the father and sons who own it, so Texas certainly filled the bill. (It’s rumored that the state produces people with big personalities.) Strictly rumor of course. I’m laughing here.

My fictional Lone Star Ranch is a little on the puny side at 480,000 acres. I modeled it to some degree after the Waggoner Ranch which was 510,000 acres in 1954. When it sold in 2016, it had grown even larger. The Waggoner Ranch also fit the location of mine in North Texas, not far from the Red River.

The largest ranch in the world in 1880 was the XIT Ranch (stands for Ten in Texas) at a whopping three million acres and covered practically all of West Texas and the Panhandle. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly 4,687 square miles. Just think how long it would take to ride over it by horseback. All that land was owned by a syndicate of English investors. It was simply too large for words.

The mighty King Ranch down at the far end of the state was and still is one of the largest ranches in the world. It has well over a million acres. It was established in 1854 by partners Richard King and Gideon Lewis.

North Texas certainly has a lion’s share of ranch land. That’s mostly because the rugged, rocky, dry landscape is fit for little else. The Matador Land and Cattle Company (purchased by Scottish investors) is another large one at a million and half acres in the beginning. It has shrunk now but still going strong.

The 6666 Ranch is an interesting one that keeps on thriving. Captain Samuel Burk Burnett bought 350,000 acres in 1868 and started raising cattle. Rumors have swirled for decades that he named it this unusual name because he won it in a poker game with a hand of four sixes. Descendants swear that’s not true. It’s still a huge ranch at 275,000 acres. I always love driving past it and looking at the large herds of horses. Their buildings are always pristine and they even have an airstrip. It’s pretty.

Okay, back to my Lone Star Ranch. The patriarch, Stoker Legend, acquired roughly 1200 acres as payment for fighting in the Texas War for Independence. Everyone scoffed and said he had little chance of making the ranch thrive what with Indians, outlaws, drought, and the fact the land was extremely inhospitable. He paid them no mind and carved out the mighty ranch that serves as a legacy for his sons—Sam, Houston, and Luke.

Book #1 of this Men of Legend series is TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER. Sam Legend joined the Texas Rangers as soon as he could because ranching just doesn’t interest him in the least little bit. He has restless feet and is driven with a burning need to see what’s over the next hill. Sam runs across a desperate woman named Sierra Hunt who has been dragged from pillar to post all her life. She dreams of permanence—a little white house with a picket fence around it, flowers in front and a garden in back where she can put down deep roots. She’s not going to settle for anything less…not even for Sam.

There are lots of twists and turns in this story as they seek to find common ground and protect the fragile love that forms as they run from a ruthless band of outlaws.

Think the old TV western series Bonanza. This Legend family is every bit as big and bold as the Cartwrights. I’ve enjoying writing this so much.

There are still one million acre (and larger) ranches today across the United States. What do you think the biggest challenge would be to owning such a huge amount of land?














Murray Clark, the selfish genius, is destined to be a victim his entire life. Why? Because he never takes responsibility for his own actions. Every mistake is someone else’s fault. During four marriages, he is never faithful and has multiple affairs. Sex consumes him and he constantly gives in to desires for another woman, only to quickly lose interest in her and move on to another. Alcohol becomes a way to deal with any upsetting situation in life. He holds every emotion in and adopts the philosophy that all people are bad.

During his childhood in California in the early 1900s, he wanted more than anything to gain his father’s approval. Yet, outwardly, he did everything to gain disapproval. His father had been the bastard son of a famous artist and though he dearly loved Murray’s mother, Buddie, he seemed incapable of expressing love to his sons. So, we see a pattern develop. Murray was very smart, but as his father so often pointed out, he failed to apply himself.

The author, Karen Ingalls, did a fantastic job of showing the social and climatic changes as she takes us through nine decades of Murray’s life. Smoking was the norm. Everyone smoked. No one knew it was bad for their health. As a result lung disease claimed many.

Throughout this story, we move with Murray through one disaster after another. We see his anger at how unfair life has been to him and we see his inability to communicate or return any true feelings to those who continue to love him through all of his failures.

If any young man is looking for a guideline of how NOT to be in life, this would be the perfect book. The author refers to “Iron John” in the story and as it turns out, this is a book written by Robert Ely as a guide for young men, to teach them how to be real men and the opposite of Murray.

At times I felt sorry for Murray, but most times I just wanted to shake him and yell at him to step outside of his own centered self for one moment and take a honest look at life and at himself.

He died in his 90s, alone, still believing that there is no God, life is unfair, and that people are all bad.

This is a very well-written biographical story. Karen Ingalls is a talented wordsmith and anyone who has sons, knows a man, or is a man will enjoy this story.

Author, Karen Ingalls, is an amazing author and a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Karen Ingalls Pic






And if you are curious at all, also check out the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and the many awesome perks it offers to writers! If you decide to join, please tell them Jan Sikes sent you!



Nonnie’s “On The Shelf” is always entertaining and informative! Great support for A.M. Manay via the Rave Reviews Book Club!


Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today I have with me on the “SHELF,” our Current “SPOTLIGHT”Author, A. M. MANAY!


NJ:  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

AM:  So comfy. It’s the fluffiest…

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Don’t get left out

Entertaining! And just in time for Halloween. Plus there’s a chance to win cool prizes!

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton, the robot girl here tonight. As Craig’s personal assistant, I am the one who put together most of his current promotions. I’m also the spokesmodel for his writing career, but there is no new poster to go along with all the stops he’s been making. Although we do have a poster for his Macabre Macaroni stories.

I decided to put my insane sign shaker skills to help with the promotions. Craig thinks I’m silly, but I can toss this thing in the air, spin around and catch it. Robotic precision baby.

First, let’s talk about The Playground. This is Craig’s latest novel, and it has a decidedly Halloween vibe going for it.

Basically, some nutjob created a social network that targets children. He’s brainwashing them to create his own homegrown army. To speed things along, he turns to the occult.

There is this girl who becomes one…

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How many ways can you say ____?

I am super excited to present this workshop to the Panhandle Professional Writers Group in Amarillo, Texas next month.

Bi-Monthly Meeting

Jan Sikes
How Many Ways Can You Say ____?

“He walked.” Really? Do you know there are over 115 ways to describe the way a person walks? Why should you limit yourself to using the same words over and over? The same is true with voice descriptions and many other modes of communication we must rely on in telling a story.

In this presentation, Jan will explore various active verbs that can take the place of the passive and draw a better picture in a reader’s mind of what the characters are doing. When you master this, it will take your writing to a new level of excitement both for you, the author, as well as the reader.

In her talk, she’ll show techniques to prevent your writing from becoming mundane and stale. Using the same phrases and descriptions are ruts we all fall into because we’re too rushed, too tired, or often—let’s face it—too lazy. Bring pen and paper for the interactive exercises. Jan plans to present this program in a fun and upbeat way using the Emotion Thesaurus as well as other reference material. Handouts will accompany her talk.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression will be referred to frequently during this presentation as well as other resources authors may find helpful. A PowerPoint presentation will be used in conjunction with printed material.

Jan is a multi-published, award-winning author of an exciting series about her life with her country singer/performer husband, Rick Sikes. She’s a member of the Texas Association of Authors and is heavily involved with the Texas Musicians Museum in Irving. In addition to writing books, she writes songs, poetry, short stories, and is currently working on a novel with paranormal elements.

Meeting Times:
Check-In and
Meet & Greet
9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Business Meeting
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Morning Session
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Box Lunch
12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
Critique Session
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
For information regarding how to join PPW and membership dues, see “Membership” link on left side of this page.
Non-members: There is a $10 guest fee to attend our bi-monthly programs.  If you join that day, the guest fee will be credited toward your membership fee.  There is a $1 guest fee for middle school and high school students.  At bi-monthly meetings held at the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association, members of Amarillo Senior Citizens Association may attend those meetings free of charge. If a member invites you attend a program as their guest, the guest fee for that program will be waived.  However, if you attend subsequent programs, we will ask you to either pay the guest fee or become a member.

Meet… Rhani D’Chae ~ #RRBC #PUSHTUESDAY winner!

I haven’t read “A Perilous Thirst” yet, but it is sitting on my Kindle! I have, however, read “Shadow of the Drill” by Rhani and it was fabulous!! I still think about the characters in that story!

Jan Hawke INKorporated


As you know by now RRBC has plenty of ways to help support other indie authors. #PushTuesday is one of my personal favourites as I’ve been in this chair several times now and it never fails to give my titles a good shot in the arm for sales and reviews. Today it’s one of my favourite RRBC people’s turn in the barrel, so lets meet Rhani and help support her wonderful short story (hopefully to make it into a longer novella one of these fine days!) A Perilous Thirst.
Now it so happens that I beta read this for Rhani, so I was one of the first to review it for her on Amazon. Here’s what I had to say about it…

In this unusual and entertaining perspective of the vagaries of sexual disease in the gay vampire community, Ms D’Chae’s sophisticated and utterly hubristic narrator spills not a…

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