#TarotTuesday – King of Cups

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today’s card is the King of Cups!

You may remember that Cups represent the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections.

The keywords for the King of Cups are: Emotionally balanced, compassionate, and diplomatic.

The King of Cups represents mastery over the realms of emotion, creativity and the unconscious. When this card turns up in a Tarot reading, you have gained control of your feelings and can accept them without allowing them to get the better of you. Even when life throws you a curve ball, you can draw on your emotional maturity and stability to help you navigate these challenges. You don’t let things get to you, and you steer clear of the drama, instead choosing an emotionally balanced and calm approach.

If you are being challenged personally, the King of Cups suggests you need to remain emotionally mature when faced with negative energy from others. Stay true to your emotions and feelings and do not allow others to steer you off course.

The King of Cups embodies the perfect balance between the executive and the heart. Not only are you able to assess and manage a situation logically, but you can also draw upon your intuition and understanding of human interactions. As a leader, you care as much about achieving your goals and objectives as you do about making sure everyone is happy and engaged along the way. If you sense that logic and emotion are out of balance, draw on the energy of this King to realign yourself.

As a King, he has a masculine, fatherly energy, and as a Cups card, he brings his emotional self to the forefront. He offers wise advice when it comes to feelings, emotions, creativity and relationships and can see the human dynamic in its entirety. The King of Cups is compassionate towards others, creating strong bonds and relationships based on patience and understanding. As you interact with others, you may need to navigate their strong feelings and emotional triggers so you can create a sense of peace in your interactions. He may appear in your life as a mentor, coach or spiritual guide; or you may step into this role yourself.

I’ve always related to this card to a person (male or female) in my life, but this time and in my current life situation, I see a lot of what I need to incorporate into myself in the King. He is calm, self-assured, logical and balanced. Those are all qualities I strive for and sometimes achieve. How about you? Does this card speak to you in some way?

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

Just for fun!

I recently experimented with a new pancake recipe and I want to share!

CINNAMON PROTEIN PANCAKES

1 Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

¾ C Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk

¼ C Avocado Oil

Mix well and set aside.

Then combine:

¾ C Whole Wheat Flour

½ Tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp (heaping) Cinnamon

½ tsp Salt

Optional – 1/4 C chopped Walnuts or Pecans

Combine dry ingredients with wet.

Add two scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

(I prefer to use Pea Protein, but Whey will also work so long as it is Vanilla)

Heat Griddle until a drop of water sizzles on it.

Pour batter onto griddle in approx. 4” circles.

Turn when batter bubbles on top.

Serve with Greek Yogurt, Agave Nectar (or Maple Syrup) and Fruit.

These were delicious and filling. And, the added protein powder offset the carbs. I hope you’ll give it a try! Let me know!

New Look! #RRBC

Happy New Year to all my wonderful followers!

I’d like to invite you to visit the ALL-NEW RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB at our new location RaveReviewsBookClub.wordpress.com.

This international book club of which I am a proud member, has a new home, new URL and new look!

But, it’s still the same organization with the same mission: {The Mission and Goal of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB are to Profile, Promote & Propel the careers of Indie authors.   The only way that we can do that, is by supporting each of our authors with book sales and HONEST reviews. 

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a not just an organization, it’s a community. Our mantra at RRBC is those that are most supportive here, are the ones who are most supported here.  Those who are expecting to add their name to our roster and then just disappear without making any connections within the club, or without supporting any of their fellow members, probably won’t get out of it what they are expecting.  What you put in, is what you’ll get out.

So, while the premise, mission and guidelines for RRBC haven’t changed, if you take a look, you’ll find lots of new and amazing opportunities within the club such as a LITERARY SESSIONS LIBRARY AUTHOR PAGESRRBC CIRCLE OF BOOKSRRBC FREE TO REVIEW!

RRBC has a huge catalog of all genres! RRBC CATALOG I read at least 80% from this catalog and I’d love to find your book listed!

You will not find an organization anywhere in the world that offers what the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB does! If you are an Indie Author struggling to keep your boat afloat in a huge sea of other books and authors, take a look at this club and see if it possibly fits your needs. But, I want to stress again that TO BE SUPPORTED, YOU MUST GIVE SUPPORT TO OTHERS! That’s how it works.

Want to know more?

FAQ

HOW RRBC PROFILES, PROMOTES, PROPELS

JOIN

If this interests you, as an Indie or Traditionally published author, and you decide to join, please give my name as the person who referred you! I’d be honored!

#TarotTuesday – Nine of Pentacles

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today’s card and message for us comes in the form of the Nine of Pentacles!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Pentacle card, so to refresh your memory, the Suit of Pentacles Tarot cards deal with the physical or external level of consciousness and thus mirror the outer situations of your health, finances, work, and creativity.

You have worked hard to create abundance in your life, and the Nine of Pentacles says now you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor. Thanks to your independent efforts, self-confidence and discipline, you attained a well-deserved success and created a stable foundation for your material wealth and comfort. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the luxuries and pleasures of the good life – money, leisure time, fun, material comfort and rest. You deserve it!

When the Nine of Pentacles appears in a Tarot reading, do not be scared to splurge, indulge or pamper yourself, especially as a reward for all of your hard work. Treat yourself to a special occasion or a personal gift to celebrate your journey here. You have already achieved so much, and while you may not be at the finish line just yet, this is your opportunity to acknowledge your achievements and re-energize yourself for the final phase.

The Nine of Pentacles also speaks of financial independence. The woman in this card has created a luxurious lifestyle by her own actions and efforts. She encourages you to do the same – to create abundance and independence so that you can take care of yourself in the long-term. Invest wisely and seek financial advice to make the most of your wealth. Don’t rely on others to support you; this Nine is an independent woman.

While the suit of Pentacles typically focuses on material wealth and gain, this card also suggests that you are in harmony with the environment around you. You appreciate the beauty and abundance found in nature, and you can harness this high-vibe energy to bring pleasure into your life. You may enjoy passing your time in the beauty of nature with picnics or walks in the park.

I’m not quite sure how this card applies to my own personal situation in life. I have worked hard all my life at whatever I’ve done, but as far as financial independence – it’s still a distant dream and goal. But this card is encouraging and I look forward to manifesting this fully!

How about you?

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

New Release! The Enigma Beyond! @1rburkey @EnigmaSeries

Award-winning authors, Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield are releasing Book #11 in their Enigma Series and it is available for pre-order for only 99 cents!

It is my pleasure to turn my blog site over to them today to talk about The Enigma Beyond!

Imagine what happens when technology outruns our humanity? Humans have turned over their decision making to Artificial Intelligence driven supercomputers. Or, was it simply confiscated?  Next generation computers are not just tracking our movements, or answering questions. Now they are delivering manufactured choices to each person through their ever-pervasive personal devices. The seduction of mankind is eminent unless our champions can stop them.

Jacob, Petra, Quip, EZ, Julie, and Juan, the current heads of the R-Group, are in for the winner-take-all fight. They use their programming, technology advancement, communications, and encryption to help their own next generation youth. They are poised to take on one of their most complex adversaries, AI enhanced supercomputers run by greedy, powerful technological geniuses. The training for the new members of the R-Group is live, in the form of a real world cyber assault crisis. ICABOD, the R-Group’s own customized supercomputer, is their best weapon in this battle.

With corporate self-discipline gone and the power of US Congressional oversight crippled, the dominance of the technical oligopolies has risen to a position where they  dictate their terms. Not satisfied to dominate commerce, they feel they are better decision points for running the planet.

MAG, the  consortium of global technology predators, have united to bring their insidious plans to fruition, capitalizing on using humans’ desire for the easy and effortless lifestyles, even as it steals their freedoms. For freedom oriented groups caught in the cyber crosshairs, time has already run out. The social media noise has been weaponized and blinds humanity to what is actually happening. MAG uses social media to seize control of politics, healthcare, finances, and defense systems.

Award winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, take readers into the depths of humanity’s newest menace in their 11th book in The Enigma Series. We are on a one way trip to keeping or giving up our most precious human quality, the freedom to choose. No one saw it coming when they built computers to ease their work and improve life. Where are the guardrails to protect humans from giving up too much? Can humanity take back control? See how fast you can determine who wins in the AI Wars.

Here is a recent Editorial Review! https://literarytitan.com/2020/01/01/the-enigma-beyond/

Purchase Link: The Enigma Beyond

These authors are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! You can find more of their books in the RRBC Catalog!

#Book Share! @virgilante @MarieDrake72 @maeclair1

I think this is the perfect way to start off a new year of blogging!

It had been a while since I picked up a book that I absolutely could not put down! But, then I got three in a row. So, I had to share!

The first is THREE RULES by Marie Drake.

MY REVIEW:

It has been a long time since I picked up a book that I could not put down. I ignored housework, ate snacks and read until I reached the end. The author’s writing style reminded me of V.C. Andrews. The subject of this book is sexual abuse and I did not know until the end of the book when I read about the author that she is a survivor of abuse. The writing comes from someone who has experienced the pain, the horror, the guilt and trauma that sexual abuse brings. The author did a great job of concealing the true identity of the abuser until the very end of the book. I was shocked. She gets deep into the psyche of the victim. The nightmares, panic attacks and paranoia are depicted in a raw and honest way. This book is not for the squeamish, but it is a well-written compelling story that I hope will encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak up and break the awful silence! And never forget the three rules! I highly recommend this book.

Marie Drake is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

The next one is SERANG by C.S. Boyack

MY REVIEW:

This story was one that I couldn’t put down! I was intrigued by Serang’s character when she was introduced in The Voyage of The Lanternfish and it was great to learn her backstory. To say she faced hardships and trials would be putting it very mildly. At a very young age, after her father died, Serang’s mother left her on the steps of a monastery as she could no longer care for her. But after a few years, the new Emperor hellbent on destroying all of the temples sent soldiers to kill everyone and burn the temple. Rescued by a traveling monk, she came of age under the teachings of Master Yong. She learned to become a fierce warrior and her intuition grew. The way she received her master weapon, the Guandao was fascinating. Her journey to the Temple of the Wind and then through the caves was heart stopping. I also have to say there was humor scattered throughout the book, even though the overall theme was most serious. This book is fantasy at its best! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story and fabulous world-building!

I know the holidays are over, but this Christmas Holiday Novella would be a treat anytime of the year! Food For Poe was both entertaining and easy to read but be prepared for unexpected twists and events! I am a huge fan of this author, Mae Clair, and have read most everything she has written!

MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved this novella! It started out as a sweet romance, but typical of this author, there was soon a ghost, a mystifying myth, and jaw-dropping magic. It is well-written and I read it in one sitting. I loved how the author wove these character’s lives together in a few short pages. But the twist came when a Changeling also appeared and some nail-biting pages followed. I won’t give the story away, I’ll just say how much I enjoyed it with all the twists and surprises. If you are looking for a romance with lots of added side plots, I highly recommend this novella!

I hope that if you haven’t read these books, you’ll pick them up if they appeal to you! Click on the book title to purchase!

#TarotTuesday – The Magician

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today, the Universe brings us another powerful card to ponder – The Magician!

From the Major Arcana, the keywords are: Manifestation, resourcefulness, power, and inspired action.

The Magician card is numbered One – the number of new beginnings and opportunities. (Perfect for beginning a new year!)  

The Magician’s robe is white, symbolizing purity, and his cloak is red, representing worldly experience and knowledge.

On the table in front of him are the four symbols of the Tarot suits – a cup, pentacle, sword and wand – each symbolizing one of the four elements – water, earth, air and fire. It is also a sign that he has all the tools (and elements) he needs to manifest his intentions into being. Above his head is the infinity symbol, and around his waist is a snake biting its own tail – both of which signal that he has access to unlimited potential. And in the foreground is an array of foliage and flowers, symbolizing the blossoming and fruition of his ideas and aspirations.

Now is the perfect time to move forward on an idea that you recently conceived. The seed of potential has sprouted, and you are being called to take action and bring your intention to fruition. The skills, knowledge and capabilities you have gathered along your life path have led you to where you are now, and whether or not you know it, you are ready to turn your ideas into reality.

In your quest to manifest your goals, you must establish a clear vision of what you will create (and why) before you act. It is not enough to be motivated by ego (money, status, or fame) – you need to have a soul connection to your goals and intentions. You are a powerful, creative being, and this is your opportunity to bring your Higher Self in alignment with your day-to-day actions to create the future you want most.

When you are clear about your ‘what’ and your ‘why’, the Magician calls on you to take inspired action. You will need focused attention and intense concentration to bring your goals to fruition. Focus on the ONE thing that will move you towards your goal. Commitment to the task is essential, so drop any distractions that may draw your focus away from what you want to achieve. Be methodical in your planning to make sure that you stay on track and carry out your tasks.

Wow! What an inspiring message! As we leave 2019 behind and enter 2020 let’s consider what goals we might want to achieve, then call on The Magician to help us manifest them!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

Looking Back – 2019 Music

As most of you know, I am a staff-writer for Buddy Magazine, The Original Texas Music Magazine. Because of that, I review lots of newly released music CDs throughout the year. This is a look back on some of the best of the best from Texas! The Albums are not listed in any particular order, so this is not a Top Ten list. It’s a recap of music that moved me!

An Indie artist that broke all the rules this year and came out on top was Cody Jinks!

He released an album on October 11 that premiered on the iTunes all-genre chart at #1. Then one week later, on October 18, he released a second album that did the same thing. The most impressive part of this is that, as an indie artist, he has no record label backing him and pouring tons of money into promo. He did it all on his own. So, it is my pleasure to honor these two albums.

“Each album has a theme,” Jinks said. “The Wanting is about the road life and going deeper into your art, while After The Fire is more about the home life, the settling and coming down period.”

Another album that touched me deeply was RIDE ME BACK HOME by the incomparable, Willie Nelson!

Part of this album’s appeal is that the title track, “Ride Me Back Home,” was written by a good friend of mine, Sonny Throckmorton. But, aside from that fact, it’s possibly one of Willie’s best!

Native Texan Bianca DeLeon writes about what she knows, her life growing up in the Texas-Mexico borderland. She’s lived through a lot, and it shows in her music. Her byline is “Texas Songwriter and Troubadour.” I absolutely loved reviewing her album, DANGEROUS ENDEAVOR. The first thing that struck me about this album is DeLeon’s voice. She’s gritty and gutsy with her delivery of the lyrics.

Pint-sized Jack Barksdale is making quite a name for himself in every music circle from the local DFW area to songwriter’s events across the United States. He’s twelve. Not only is he writing original material, but he also releases podcasts where he interviews other artists. Check out his YouTube page. He is one of the most amazing young artists I’ve ever seen! He released a new EP this year, Live From Niles City and it deserves to be on this list!

Here’s a YouTube video. You’ve gotta hear this kid!

Another incredibly diverse album that crossed my desk this year was FOG AND BLING By Shinyribs! It’s difficult to categorize this Austin-based band’s music. I’d say Shinyribs is an eclectic blend between New Orleans Jazz, R&B, Funk, Rock, and Psychedelic Country. It could aptly be called Swampadelic R&B.

Tom McElvain is known far and wide for his vocal prowess. But he is also fast rising to the top of the songwriting spectrum with songs like the ones found on his EP, DRIFTER. As he says, “This time it’s for the music, not the man.”  

On a side note, I am working with Tom McElvain on a book, “Lady In Red,” that will be released in May 2020! Believe me, I will be promoting it here on my blog!

Smile Into Life from Austin-based Blues-Funk Rocker, Hector Ward and his eight-piece Big Time band, is one of the most dynamic I heard all year.From start to finish, it’s solid with not one track that I wanted to skip. Ward is quoted as saying, “Listen to music…it will change your reality.”

I want to share a picture with you because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let me just say this man is inspiring. That is Hector Ward in the wheelchair. Listen to his music and see if you find one spec of self-pity. You won’t!

The Walk is singer/songwriter, Bonnie Bishop’s eighth album. Produced by Grammy-winner, Steve Jordan, the music connects listeners to the Texas vocal powerhouse in an intimate and personal way. I am a huge fan of her music and her honesty. She is an inspiration to women artists!

I love these two people, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Kerrie Lepai Jones! They are perfect ambassadors of the Dallas Blues scene and it was an honor to not only review their new CD, but to interview them for a feature in Buddy Magazine. You can read it here. Jr. Boy has been playing the blues for over five decades and no one does it better! Their new album, Jr. Boy & Kerrie’s Blues is nothing short of stellar! If you love the blues, give them a listen! Kerrie proves that a white girl CAN sing the blues!

I’ll close this post with a single off Cody Johnson’s 2019 Album, Ain’t Nothing To It. In my humble opinion this is the most sensual and sexy song I’ve heard since Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” Here’s Cody Johnson with “Nothin’ On.”

Maybe you are already familiar with some of this music but if you aren’t I do hope you’ll take a minute to discover something new! Thank you!

#TarotTuesday – Four of Cups

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Following the Four of Swords, today I drew the Four of Cups. Hmmmmm. There just might be something in those fours!

The keywords for this card are: Meditation, contemplation, apathy and, reevaluation.

The number 4 is a number of “being”,  it is the number that connects mind-body-spirit with the physical world of structure and organization. It is also known as the Angel Number and indicates the Angels are around you waiting for you to call on them for help.

The Four of Cups shows a young man sitting under a tree with his arms crossed, deep in contemplation and meditation. He is so engrossed in his thoughts that he does not seem to notice the outstretched arm offering him a cup. A further three cups stand at his feet, but again, he doesn’t seem to notice or care about these new opportunities either.

When the Four of Cups turns up in a Tarot reading, new invitations and opportunities are flowing to you, but for now, you’re saying “no” and turning them away. Perhaps the prospects do not interest you, or your cup is full, or you already have too much on your plate. Use your discernment to decide on what is truly important to you, and don’t be afraid to decline new projects that don’t align with your future path.

The Four of Cups can also indicate a time when you are turning your attention and your energy internally, to realign to this new phase of your life. You know that you need to be standing on terra firma before you can decide your next steps. While you may need to decline some very alluring opportunities, you do so knowing you will be in a better position to say ‘yes’ to the opportunities that are a better fit for you. You are creating the space within yourself so that you are ready to accept new opportunities later and give them the best possibility of success. Use this time for inward reflection, grounding, and contemplation before accepting the next ‘big thing’.

Sometimes this card brings the message, ‘Not now, but maybe later.’ While the man in the Four of Cups doesn’t accept the cups offered to him, he doesn’t wholly reject them either. You may be waiting for a sign or further information before taking an invitation or new project. Check in emotionally and spiritually before you say ‘yes’, to make sure the opportunity is a good fit and that you can commit to it in the long-term.

I can’t think of a better card to get us headed toward a new year. I always think of the new year as a clean slate… A place to start over, in a philosophical sort of way.

There will only be one more Tarot Tuesday post before 2020. And, other than these posts, I will not be blogging again until after the first of the new year.

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Jan Sikes Top-Ten Book List for 2019

AND THE WINNER IS!! I am ashamed to say that I almost forgot to draw a winner for this blog post, BUT, I saved myself at the last minute. 🙂 The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift card is Stephanie Ortiz Jenkins!! Stephanie watch your inbox! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is always a challenge to pick just ten books from the many books I read each year. Because it was so difficult this year, I have listed a Bonus book and also some fabulous short stories. I hope you enjoy my Top Ten, and if you see a book that catches your interest, click on the purchase link and add it to your TBR list!

PURCHASE LINK: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

PURCHASE LINK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO

PURCHASE LINK: WHATEVER IT TAKES

PURCHASE LINK: THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE

PURCHASE LINK: VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH

PURCHASE LINK: END OF DAY

PURCHASE LINK: VANISHED

PURCHASE LINK: MEMOIR OF A MAD WOMAN

PURCHASE LINK: THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

PURCHASE LINK: WHEN CAN I STOP RUNNING?

PURCHASE L INK: REFLECTIONS

PURCHASE LINKS: RAVE WRITER’S INT’S SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA) ANTHOLOGY VOL I

CASTE METAL

VISITORS: A SHORT STORY MYSTERY

RED EYES IN THE DARKNESS – A SHORT STORY

MEGAMAX

SLIMMER

And, last but not least, I will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card to some lucky person! Just leave a comment and share this post to be entered! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! HO! HO! HO!