#RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Block Party!

Welcome to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Springtime Book & Block Party!

This stop is being brought to you from Plano, Texas

What I’m giving away on this stop:

One (1) $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

One (1) $10.00 iTunes Gift Card

Two (2) Copies of Discovery – Poetry and Art eBook

Number of winners for this stop – Four (4)

For a Chance to win, please leave a comment on this post.

And, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it on Social Media.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to bring to you the Poetry and Art book, Discoveryin eBook format! 

First and foremost, I want to thank Jan Hawke for her hard work formatting the artwork and poems to convert to eBook. She did a phenomenal job. The clickable links in the Table of Contents take you directly to a specific poem or piece of artwork.

FrontCover_Discovery

This book is unique first of all because it was compiled by Rick Sikes during the fifteen years he was incarcerated in Leavenworth Prison. Secondly, the artwork that accompanies the poetry is what he called pen-and-ink drawings, which I have learned is technically called Pointillism – Artwork made up of millions of tiny dots.

A few bitter years into his imprisonment, Rick Sikes reached a pivotal turning point.

He made the decision to be, think, and act only in a positive manner. This poetry and art project was partially his means of doing just that.

What you’ll find between the covers of this book are expressions of raw emotion…Poems of deep sadness and loss, humorous musings, political wisdom, life observations and tender love from Rick, while Jan lends her own deeply personal poems at the end of the book to round it out.

This partial excerpt from the poem entitled “Discovery” is the first expression of that pivotal point in Rick’s life where he determined he was going to crawl up from the bottom and become a worthwhile human.

Discovery

Through life’s wilderness I wandered aimlessly seeking my way

Seldom looking up to see the light of day

Stumbling blindly, ‘til so weary, I could go no more

In total exhaustion I fell to the earthen floor

My eyes focused upon a wounded but lovely thing

Seemingly an angel felled with a broken wing

Said I, “Stranger, what will be your name?”

A voice spoke softly, “Yours, for our names are the same…”

                                                           RICK SIKES

 

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One example of Rick’s Artwork

Comes the Dawn by Jan Sikes

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

You learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t mean security

Eventually, you understand that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises

Then you start to accept your defeats

Head up and eyes open wide

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child

And learn to build your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans

Futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight

After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns you if you get too much

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers

And you learn that you can endure

That you really are strong

You truly do have worth

And you learn and learn

With each goodbye  –  you learn

I hope you’ll take a peek at the Trailer for Discovery. Click HERE!

I hope I’ve piqued your interest and that you’ll check out this new eBook version of Discovery

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!

For More Stops on this RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Book and Block Party, click HERE 

Order the eBook  Discovery HERE!

Follow Jan: WEBSITE       FACEBOOK        TWITTER       LINKEDIN       PINTEREST

A Guitar Picker out of West H$#LL!

My late husband used the phrase “Out of West Hell” when someone was beyond great at something. While I never knew where West Hell was, it obviously produced the best of the best.

Most of you know I attend a lot of live music events and once in a while, there is a musician that literally makes my jaw drop.  That is exactly what Guitarist, Steve Rhian did. Wow!

Steve_Rhi200 While most of the attention and focus goes to the singer or band leader, without great musicians behind them, they wouldn’t be the popular stars they are.

I wanted to know more about this incredible player. So, here’s what I found out.

Like most dedicated musicians, Steve began playing music at a young age. He recalls his earliest influences to be Motown and R & B, “I put coins on top of the LP to slow down Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” to figure out the parts. I wore that old record player out and probably ruined more than a few 45s and vinyl records back then.”

But that was only the beginning. Steve goes on. “The Beatles and Rolling Stones had been out for a little while but it was “Sympathy For The Devil” that made me sit up and take notice.  I think that record more than any other was responsible for changing the pop culture. In my mid-teens, I had all the standard influences like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and of course Jimi Hendrix.  It was an exciting time with so many emerging great players and new sounds being created. But, this is what drove so many of us.”

I wonder how many can say they saw Jimi Hendrix at a live show? Steve Rhian did and he recounts the event. “I got see Jimi Hendrix at Temple University Stadium in Philadelphia and he was amazing. This was an outdoor football stadium and little fires were burning all around not to mention Jimi lighting up his Fender Strat near the end of the show like a ritual. Yeah, it was burning.”

Hendrix

And the desire to learn to play, and to play well, continued for Steve Rhian. There is a common thread among these phenomenal players and it usually has to do with studying under some of the greatest around. Steve spent many years studying Danny Gatton‘s emotional range and depth of playing, and got to hang out with him on several occasions. Danny was known as “The Telemaster.”

Steve also studied under Australian Jazz guitarist, Steve Brien. I will say firsthand, the jazz influence comes out in a big way when Steve plays. Others Steve studied along the way, were D’Jango Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, both stellar jazz players. Steve is a huge fan of Gypsy Jazz, which Reinhardt and Grappelli put on the map.

He had this to say about D’Jango and Stephane. ” I still go back and listen to those old “Hot Club”  recordings and would probably have to put D’Jango at the top of the  greatest guitarists of all time pile, when you consider there were few blueprints back then and he only had partial use of his fretting hand. Lenny Breau is another I would have to include.”

An avid student is always learning and that couldn’t be more true for Steve Rhian. In his own words. “In 1990, I headed to Cincinatti to meet with renowned guitarist Scotty Anderson. I spent about a week with him soaking it up but it took years to assimilate some of his techniques and of course, I was altering things to fit my sensibilities as I got more comfortable with it. Scotty’s groundbreaking harmonized double and triple stop runs are beyond the grasp of most players but sure are fun to listen to, along with his jazz infused country lines. I played a lot of guitar that week. I’ve always been influenced by great playing.  If it spoke to me, I wanted learn it.”

More guitar greats that drew Steve Rhian’s attention were Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Doc Watson and Norman Blake. Here’s a video clip that showcases this style of picking from Steve Rhian. Click HERE!

In the 90s, Steve met Deryl Dodd, who was playing lead guitar for Martina McBride at the time. They struck up a friendship and fast forward a few years, Deryl formed his own band, The Homesick Cowboys, with Steve on lead. And that brings it current as he is still a member of this band, which has had multiple chart-topping hit songs.

Steve has played on over sixteen album sessions. He is a highly sought after musician when artists go into the studio. Why? Because he’s a guitar picker “Out of West Hell!”

Click HERE for a video that shows off a tiny bit of Steve’s style.

I could write volumes about this extraordinary guitar player. Truly, he deserves recognition for his dedication to the craft.

If you ever have a chance to see Steve live with Deryl Dodd and The Homesick Cowboys, don’t pass it up! It’s guaranteed entertainment.

You can learn more about Steve Rhian on his FACEBOOK page.

A Cold Tomorrow – Book Review #RRBC

5 star

In this sequel to the first book of the Point Pleasant Series,  A Thousand Yesteryears,  Mae Clair takes us on a fast-paced adventure that doesn’t end until the last page.

Katie Lynch stops to help a motorist in trouble and gets more than she bargained for. Mysteries begin unfolding all around.  A coded message, a policeman that vanishes into thin air and unexplained phenomena galore set the stage for A Cold Tomorrow .

We met the famous supernatural mythical creature, The Mothman, in the first book of this series. But, it is becoming almost as much of a character in these books as are the people. Mae gives us a glimpse into the creature’s mind when it is wounded and Caden  is able to communicate with him. All the characters in this story capture me. The two brothers, Ryan and Caden, both in law enforcement – rugged and good looking, Katie Lynch, a single mom raising a son, Eve Parrish, owner of the famed historic hotel, Sarah who loves digging around in archived historical records, and even Katie’s renegade mom who really comes to life and redeems herself in this novel.

Mae does an exquisite job of weaving this story with lots of unexpected and unpredictable twists and turns. Giving the reader a deeper look into Indrid Cold and Evening Lach, and their connection to the Mothman, only adds another other-worldly dimension to this story. If you like a great mystery with a lot of adventure and a little romance thrown in, you’ll love both of Mae Clair’s books in the Point Pleasant series. Looking forward to the third book, coming soon!

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GOOD NEWS!!!!

You can pick up A Cold Tomorrow right now on AMAZON for only 99 cents! 

Follow Mae on Twitter       Website       Facebook        Author Central

A Side Note – I met Mae Clair through the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB along with a slew of other amazing authors that I now call friends. The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is like no other organization on the planet. It is a community that promotes, profiles and propels authors and their books. Does this sound like a place you’ve been looking for? You can join right now, here today. See for yourself. JOIN RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

eBook Bargain .99!!

I love supporting other authors and helping spread the word about promotions they have going on. So, today I’m supporting an amazing author of Western Historical Romance, who also happens to be my sister! I love all of the characters who make up the Men of Legend series.

They are blood. They are brothers.

They are LEGENDS…

Stoker Legend — Tough patriarch who runs the huge Lone Star Ranch and keeps his sons in line.

Houston — The one most like his father. He only wants to be a rancher.

Sam — A Texas Ranger who has no desire for ranch life.

Luke — An outlaw who never knew who his father’s name until his mother lay on her deathbed. 

Linda Broday’s first book in the Men of Legend series, To Love A Texas Ranger is filled with plenty of action and adventure. Unforgettable characters like rugged Texas Ranger, Sam Legend, and beautiful Sierra Hunt will steal your heart and set you on the course to follow this three-book series. And, it is only 99 cents!

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BLURB: 

Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?

Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her-his life, his badge, his very soul-knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.

***

Here is what one reader had to say: “Linda Broday’s books are intriguing yet easy to read. She paints vivid pictures with words while maintaining historical accuracy. Her writing is richly romantic and vividly entertaining. I highly recommend any and all of her books. She is my favorite western romance author.”

Pick up To Love A Texas Ranger at the ridiculously low price of .99!!

Book Blast – Author, Harmony Kent #RRBC

Moments Banner

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my 4Wills Publishing book blast release tour. Today, I’m celebrating the release of my eighth book! Moments is a collection of short stories and poetry and brings together much of my imagination that has been scattered around for a while, lols. On each of today’s seven posts, you will find a different book excerpt … enjoy!

Kindle Cover Moments

About the book:

Come.

Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

These tales touch upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement.

And then, after all that, you’ll find the poems.

From the lonely echoes of an empty house to the soaring heights of unexpected love and joy and learning to live as free as clouds and water.

For each of us, a moment encompasses a lifetime and, yet, passes in but the blink of an eye. In but a moment, everything can change. And in this very moment, life beckons in all its potentiality.

When the shadows fall, what will you do?


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Excerpt:
(From Arvum)

The familiar hum of the drone rises in pitch. Time to hide. It will be here in minutes. If I’m caught, I will be shot. Like many others, I refused to be registered. No chip for me. My only option: to join the undesirables and live in the shadows, on the fringes of what passes for society. Although illegal, this kind of life does have its advantages. The recognised citizens are monitored at all times. They have chips in their wrists that pinpoint their location every second of every day. The technology also monitors heart rate, emotional state, and broadcasts every utterance to the receivers embedded into the concrete of every building. No—dead girl walking I may well be, but at least I’m free.

Curfew commenced a few hours ago, but I have no choice but to be out here. With a wary glance above my head, I hurry to the end of the street then take a left. Just a couple of hundred yards away is an old subway entrance; left over from the days such things were used. Nowadays, air shuttles take any official citizen anywhere they want to go. For folks like me, though, such luxuries are not available. We have to rely on our own two feet to get us anywhere. It’s possible, of course, to steal a travel card, but the risk is too high. Transport is one of the most heavily monitored systems.

This all means that we can’t move around in daylight. Nobody walks anywhere. If you’re on foot, you’re immediately suspect. So, as I said, I have no choice but to be out here. Curfew or no. Shoulders tense, I run in a half-crouch from one doorway to the next. Each time, before I make my dash for the next recess, I look around to make sure I won’t be caught unawares out in the open. As well as the drones, there are the PBs to watch out for. The Police Bots are ruthless, brutal machines. And, despite their advanced AI, they have not an ounce of humanity in them.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

To buy Moments, please go to AMAZON US or AMAZON UK.

Author Bio and Links:

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Indie Author Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

  • The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
  • The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree / New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
  • Elemental Earth (YA Fantasy Fiction)
  • Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
  • Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
  • Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
  • Interludes (Erotic Romance short stories)
  • Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services.  As well as reviewing and supporting her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena.  She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

For all books available from me, check out my author pages at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Book Trailer videos: Harmony’s trailers.

My website: http://harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent https://twitter.com/harmony_kent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HarmonyKentOnline

My 4Wills Author Page: https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/our-authors/author-harmony-kent/

RWISA Author Page: https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-harmony-kent/

The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

Winners! #RRBC

RRBC Badges (2)

I am thrilled to announce the winners from my stop on the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Springtime Book and Blog Block Party tour!

$10 iTunes Gift Card  –  NONNIE JULES

$5 Amazon Gift Card – PATRICIA GREEN

eBook of Flowers and Stone – Lynn Miclea

eBook of The Convict and the Rose – Rob Kimbrell

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED! 

Don’t miss out on the rest of the tour! 

Here are today’s stops:

4/12 – Kim Cox

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $20 Amazon gift card;

4/12 – A. S. McGowan

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) e-book copy of “FOR THE LOVE OF A CENTAUR,” (1) e-book copy of “THE GHOSTS OF A CENTAUR” & (1) $5 Amazon gift card; 

4/12 – Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $10 Amazon gift card, (1) $10 Starbucks gift card, & (2) e-book copy of “MIRROR OF OUR LIVES: VOICES OF FOUR IGBO WOMEN”;

#RRBC Springtime Book & Blog Party!

RRBC Badges (2)

Hi! And welcome to the  Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at Writing and Music coming to you from Plano, Texas.

Here is what I am giving away today!

One $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

One $10.00 iTunes Gift Card

One ebook of FLOWERS AND STONE

One ebook of THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE

WINNERS FOR THIS STOP – 4

I have published five books in the past four years. Four of those five have won book competition awards..

When I began this crazy journey by writing Flowers and Stone, I had no idea that it would take four books to tell the entire story. I also had no idea all I would learn along the way. But, I knew I had a story that begged to be told.

I started out by writing in first person. It became glaringly obvious that I couldn’t tell the story this way. When a close friend mentioned that I should consider telling it through fictitious characters, a light clicked on. That was the perfect solution for me. So, I chose to tell the story through Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. In doing this, I was able to separate myself from a deeply personal story and tell it through their eyes.

Here are the top FIVE things I’ve learned over the past four years:

  1.  DO NOT forego professional editing! That is number one and the most important.  It doesn’t matter how wonderful and talented you are at writing, you cannot edit your own work successfully.
  2. Spend a good deal of time and thought about your cover. People really do judge a book by its cover.
  3. Write your blurb. Then delete it and write it again. Cut out extra words and tweak it until you are saying precisely what will sell the reader on your book in the fewest amount of words possible.
  4. Get ready to market! I have never been a salesman, so marketing does not come naturally for me. But, through marketing conferences and trial and error, I have found that basically marketing consists of FOUR things: Visibility, Consistency, Honesty (honesty about yourself and about your books) and Networking.
  5.  Keep writing! Don’t think that because you’ve written and published one book you can sit back and reap the rewards. If you have a true passion for telling stories, you must keep writing. There are millions of books out there, but here’s something I want you to take to heart: NO ONE WRITES LIKE YOU! We are all unique and individual.

Here’s a little about each of my books:

flowers_and_stone_3d_cover Flowers and Stone is set in the rowdy Texas honky-tonks in 1970. Link to BOOK TRAILER

One Reviewer wrote: “As I close this amazing book by Jan Sikes, my heart aches for the hand Luke and Darlina have been dealt. Flowers and Stone is an amazing, fast paced story of two people who against all odds have found a true and binding love. The love story they create with one another is heart-gripping, turbulent, and heartbreaking. This is a true story of two souls brought together, soulmates, who were given the chance of true love until society and the justice system decided, differently.”

online_3d_cover_theconvictandtherose  The Convict and the Rose  alternates between Leavenworth Prison and Texas. Link to BOOK TRAILER 

A FIVE Star Review: “Luke struggles to adjust to life behind bars, going from a successful career as a musician to another number in the system. I thought this story might be bleak as a result, but it is far from depressing. Watching Luke cope to his new existence and rise above the situation made for riveting reading. And as Luke’s life unfolds, Darlina grows from a young, naïve girl to a stronger woman. Her journey has many ups and downs, strewn with doubts, hardships and new experiences. Through it all, she keeps in touch with Luke. And that’s what really resonated with me—the undying love these two hold for each other despite the separation they’re forced to endure.”

home-at-last_3d  Home At Last is set in a small West Texas town. Link to BOOK TRAILER

A FIVE Star Review: “Although Luke’s transition back into civilian life wasn’t easy for him, Darlina, and their two girls, they never gave up believing in second chances and living life to the fullest through all their hard work and endeavors. Many heartaches, losses, and struggles met them head-on, but for Luke and Darlina there wasn’t any mountain to high for them to scale.”

online_3d_cover_tildeathdouspart ‘Til Death Do Us Part concludes the series. Link to BOOK TRAILER

A FIVE STAR Review: “What a joy and what a sorrow. There is a gambit of emotions to be experienced in ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the concluding chapter in the Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone series. This story of love that knows no bounds will hold you captivated from being to end…Written from the heart, this is a book (and a series) that shouldn’t be missed. From hurdles to triumphs, it will make you believe in steadfast love. I had shivers about the owl hoots, especially at the end. I applaud the author for sharing her story with us and hope to see this series made into a movie someday.”

discovery_3dcoverhb2_discovery_logo1  Discovery Breaths of life from a prison cell

This poetry and art book is unique in many different ways. First and foremost, it was written and compiled by Rick Sikes during the fifteen years he spent in prison. The original documents were typed on onion skin paper. Remember that? 😊 It covers all topics from the deep dark loneliness of prison to a crazy and perhaps twisted sense of humor. It was a means of maintaining sanity in an insane setting.

The other thing that makes this book unique is the artwork found inside. Rick called them pen and ink drawings, but the proper name for this type of art is Pointillism. It is comprised of thousands of tiny dots made with a simple ink pen. He later added color to the drawings. Because the originals were black and white, I currently have two editions of the poetry book. One is hard cover and full color and the other paperback and black and white. I am in the process of getting this beautiful book formatted for ebook and it will be available soon.

I would LOVE it if you would take a look at the BOOK TRAILER for this beautiful book!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a preview of my books.

This tour is brought to you by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB – a community of authors and readers who are constantly creating new ways to PROFILE, PROMOTE & PROPEL our members.  You mean you haven’t joined yet?  Well, you can…right here, right now, today!. You’ll not find another organization like this anywhere on the planet.

For a complete list of participants in the Block party, click HERE.

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!

Follow me on: TWITTER   FACEBOOK   LinkedIn   PINTEREST    INSTAGRAM

 

Book Awards!

It’s that time of year when book awards are announced and I am thrilled beyond words that TWO of my books have received FIRST PLACE awards from the TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF AUTHORS! 

‘TIL DEATH DO US PART received a First Place Award in the Biography Fiction Category.

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Til Death Do Us Part is the fourth and final book in my series of true stories about a Texas musician who was a pioneer in the outlaw music movement long before it had a name.

Blurb:  Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times then he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family…which he did.
Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin. His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer will power and the love he has for Darlina.
When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.
This is a story of inspiration, endurance and most of all undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them.
Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?

DISCOVERY – POETRY AND ART BY RICK AND JAN SIKES received a FIRST PLACE award in the POETRY AND ART cagetory.

poetry_art               

I am SO proud of this award. When I decided to publish this book, people told me, “Poetry doesn’t sell.” But, I didn’t publish it to sell thousands of copies (although, of course I’d be thrilled about that). I published it because it is such an incredibly beautiful expression of a man’s heart and soul not only through words, but through art. And, I believe there are others struggling who can find encouragement and hope within the pages of this book.

When Rick Sikes found himself inside the walls of Leavenworth prison, with a long sentence ahead, he had some decisions to make. It took several years, but he finally made up his mind to think and act positive in a negative situation. He became determined to accomplish something worthwhile even though imprisoned. And, this book is just one of the things he completed. The artwork is what he called Pen and Ink drawings, but the technical description is Pointillism. Thousands of tiny dots made with a simple ink pen are what make up the art.

I hope you’ll take a look at all of my books. You can find them all on Amazon and on my website at http://www.jansikes.com

Please join me this evening for an interview on DEAR Texas radio, at 7 pm CST when I’ll talk about these books and more! Here is the link. DEAR Texas Blog Talk Radio

See you there!!

Follow Jan on Twitter    Facebook    Website    LinkedIn     Instagram     Pinterest

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Four Book Banner

 

Texas Music Festivals

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Texas is a big state and the music festivals are just as big. I spent last weekend at the Outlaws and Legends music festival set on the Back Porch of Texas ranch just north of Abilene, Texas. I love this festival, which is in its 7th year of existence.

I work as a volunteer here and I work hard the entire weekend. Why? Because I love music and I love Texas music with a passion. The gate I am in charge of is the VIP and Artist gate. So, my smiling face is who greets the artists when they arrive.

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Here’s me and a very pregnant event coordinator greeting the great, Jamie Richards!

And then when the work is done, I get the best seat in the house to listen to the performers.

Jerrod Medulla always wears the ever classy pinstripe suite and his lead guitar player looks like a Wall Street business man.

And you are never too young to watch your daddy perform on stage. This is Jerrod’s wife and baby daughter.

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You never know what you’ll see at a music festival.  Yep, those are masks and Jamie Richards being the professional he is, kept on singing. The girl with the phone made me think maybe she was from the Woodstock era.

This little boy got up on stage with his pint-sized guitar and, of course, the artists loved it and signed his guitar for him.

Mike Tuck plays lead guitar for the legendary songwriter, Zane Williams.

People come from all over and much of the acreage is covered with campers from the most elaborate and fancy to a simple tent.

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And here is the man himself, Mr. Mark Powell, who owns the ranch and has built this event from the ground up.

A Drone flew over the festival site filming and there was a live video stream of each performance.

The last performer of the event was the awesome Lee Ann Womack and this was my view for her show.

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Here is a shot of the crowd on the last night. You can tell by the jackets that it had turned chilly.

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So, if you ever find yourself anywhere close to Abilene, Texas on the first weekend of April, mark your calendar to attend the best little festival in the Lone Star State, Outlaws and Legends! 

Just in case you wondered, here are the rules. 🙂 20170401_144936

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Shehanne Moore and Jan Sikes

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sally Cronin! If you haven’t seen Sally’s blog site, Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life, well, you should!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The first review today is for historical romance author Shehanne Moore who received a glowing recommendation this week.

 Shehanne is also celebrating the release of her latest book. The Writer and the Rake and I will be including that in the Cafe and Bookstore update tomorrow.

But first on the subject of Loving Lady Lazuli…..

About Loving Lady Lazuli

Only one man in England can identify her. Unfortunately he’s living next door.

Ten years ago sixteen-year-old Sapphire, the greatest jewel thief England has ever known, ruined Lord Devorlane Hawley’s life. Now that Sapphire’s dead and buried, all that respectable widow Cassidy Armstrong wants is the opportunity to keep her good name, and prove she is not that disreputable girl. Especially when it means so much to her handsome new neighbor, Devorlane Hawley.

Hawley believes he knows precisely who his new neighbor is, and he’s been waiting ten years to…

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