#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

 

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102 thoughts on “#RRBC Springtime Book & Blog Party!

    1. Thank you, Susanne. I would say it is somewhat easier writing a true story than writing pure fiction. With a true story, you already know how it goes, so there’s nothing to make up, only put together. I worked really hard at getting these books done as it was my passion to present this amazing story to the world! Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. Congratulations on a beautiful blog. Sometimes it takes a second set of eyes to bring out that in which you can’t see. Your 5 lessons learned is inspiring. I wish you the best on your book journey. Thanks for attending the block party and sharing your story.

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  2. I may also be late for this blog tour, but did not want to miss it. I am recovering from major surgery and it is great to be home at the computer if only for short periods of time. Loved your books!

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  3. Hi Jan, sorry so late, been sick and missed the list until finding it today–right where it should be lol. I loved ‘Flowers and Stone’ and hope to read the rest of the series. Hope you had a great day!!

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    1. So sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, Micki. Glad you made it by. I am thrilled that you liked Flowers and Stone and hope you find the rest of the series interesting. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

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  4. Dear Jan, Thank you for this glimpse into the person behind the book. My TBR List remains bulging at the seems, but I keep working on it and hope to read HOME AT LAST, soon. I hope you have a very successful day🤓

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  5. Hi Jan!
    Love your cover of Flower and Stone. What a fun trailer you have for that too! Great advice in your blog, especially about editing and cover art. I always feel for people who have terrible covers, the book could be fabulous but who’s going to open the book. Thanks for sharing! I am tweeting your page out as well 🙂 Hopefully you will get some more followers!

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  6. Hi Jan, I’ve seen you’re books but didn’t know they were a series. And I know you live in Plano now. Great post and I look forward to seeing you in Dallas later in the year. Good luck and thanks for all your support. Party on!

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    1. Hi, Larry. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Are you coming to the book festival in October here in Dallas? If so, I’ll look forward to meeting you!

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  7. So many fabulous books to read … and … like every book lover I’ve ever known, there is just too little time! Fabulous post, Jan. My TBR list and I are having relationship difficulties, are are currently not on speaking terms. My TBR list needs to ‘get over it’ ’cause I added your work. I’ve been eager to explore these works, because of all the enduring love within their pages. Bravo!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Sooz. I SO relate to your dilemma. My Kindle is literally bursting at the seams and I get so frustrated that I can’t carve out more time to read all the great books! Thank you for adding me to your growing list. 🙂 I greatly appreciate your support.

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  8. What a wonderful blog post, Jan. Your advice is, as always, so very sound. There are always exceptions to every rule–I know several successful writer/self-editors.

    After watching your book trailers, and reading more about each book, I can’t wait for some pleasure reading time! Your books are very, very high on my TBR list!

    Thank you for the #RRBC Spotlight Book & Blog Block Tour post!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Patricia! Thank you SO much for the kind words. I’d be honored for you to read my books. If your TBR list is anything like mine, it’s bursting at the seams. Oh, for more time to read! I appreciate you stopping by today.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. If your Kindle is like mine, it is bursting at the seams. 🙂 I loved “Gem” and also have “Held By Him” on my Kindle. I just need more time to read. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post.

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  9. Congratulations on your novels, Jan. Very cool that you wrote your story as though fiction. I think writing is so incredibly healing when we let it be. I think everyone should be writing as we all have incredible stories – whether fiction or nonfiction. Glad to see you kept writing. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. I’ve learned so much since my first book. I often think about pulling it down and re-doing it, but then something else grabs my attention and time. I appreciate you stopping by today and leaving a comment.

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  10. Yay, Jan! Great Block Party! I have Home at Last on my TBR list and hope to get to it as soon as I can squeeze more reading time into my day. Wishing you only the best.

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    1. Thank you, Beem. So glad you stopped by to party with us today. I totally understand about time. I have so many books on my Kindle I fear it may explode. Oh, for the time to read them all!

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  11. Great post, Jan. How wonderful to introduce your books through reviews! The two I have read were 5- stars, and now I’m looking forward to the next two! Enjoy your special day!!

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  12. Ms. Sikes, your advice is golden! Thanks for sharing and thanks for always being so supportive of others. You’re truly one in a million! Enjoy this day today. Looks like you’re all we have on the lineup now and that means more of the focus will be on you! How’d you get so lucky?

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    1. Music is as much a part of me as are my books, so it made complete sense to merge the two. I greatly appreciate you stopping by, Rob!! Your support is awesome!

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  13. Tweeting for you Jan! 😀 I’m 3 books into yours and Rick’s story now and I’ll be catching up on my review commitments shortly. Loved the trailer 😀 & the work is going well! 😉

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Jan! I appreciate the tweets and the kind words. Glad the work is going well. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! You are awesome!

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  14. I loved “Flowers and Stone” and plan on finishing reading the rest of your amazing story. I appreciate you combining the love of books and music! Great post!

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  15. You know Jan, when I read “Home At Last,” It felt like I was coming in, in the middle of a conversation. Now I know why. I should have started with reading “Flowers and Stone” first. Now, I have started reading “Flowers and Stone,” and everything is beginning to make sense.:D. Enjoy your party today. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Joy. It was my goal to make each book a stand alone, but I can see where they each lead into the other. Thank you for reading my story. I appreciate your awesome support!

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  16. I love your post, Jan!! Wonderful words of wisdom. Congrats on a fabulous day in the Block Party! I hope the party doesn’t stop for ya!! 😉

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  17. Jan I can appreciate your story about how you came to write your book. I wished I had gotten similar advice when I wrote my second book. It was hard and I even blocked out some of the memories, so I don’t feel I gave my readers my all because it was so hard to write it. Doing it in fiction would have been the perfect solution. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Shirley. I know everyone has to write in the way that works for them and writing it as fiction was my solution. 🙂 Hugs and wishes for a great day!

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  18. Jan, the top five things you learned during writing your wonderful series are excellent advice, especially #1. Too many authors skip that part and it’s critical.
    I loved all four books in the Luke and Darlina series, and look forward to more reading from you! Wishing you a great party day!

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    1. Thank you, Mae. Anytime I am asked to give new writers advice, it is always my #1! It is such an important step that can make or break a good story. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment and your awesome support!

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  19. A wonderful post, Jan! Your journey is one of enduring love and truly inspiring. Discovery is a beautiful piece of art; the poetry and art are a penetrating force. I feel the words and their place in time. Powerful. Wishing you a wonderful day! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Charles! I hope you enjoy the books when you get to them. If your TBR list is anything like mine, it is bulging at the seams! So many good books to read…so little time. 🙂

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  20. Jan, I won an autographed copy of the amazing “Discovery”! I love it! Also, I’ve never been one to reinvent the wheel, so I will take to heart what you’ve learned over the past four years and add this knowledge to my repertoire! Have a great Party today! Congratulations on your many tours, signings, and endeavors.

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    1. Awesome, Linda! So glad you won an autographed copy of Discovery and hope you’ll be so kind as to leave a review once you’ve read it. I have learned so much from others and like you, I don’t have any desire to reinvent the wheel, but I do take the lessons learned to heart! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  21. Such a wonderful blog post Jan. I can’t wait to read every book in the series as it’s next on my TBR. The cover art catches your attention immediately and the reviews are fabulous!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Lizzie. I appreciate your kind words and hope you enjoy the books when they come up on your TBR. If your list is anything like mine, it is bulging at the seams! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  22. Jan- I truly loved this 4 book series you have written. When Linda told me about this series you have written I never dreamed I’d be so engrossed in it as I was, it was a perfect series. I felt like you opened your heart and let all of us into your world. Very beautifully executed andctivuting. I’m so proud of all. You’ve done. Love you Dearly I hope one day I’ll be able to meet you in person. Linda has become a dear sweet true sister friend to me and I feel you’re a an extension of this friendship, as well. Love and hugs and have fun in Atlanta next month.

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    1. Oh, Tonya, you make me cry with your kind words. I too hope to meet you one day. Maybe next time I visit Linda, we can get together. I’d like that. Thank you for stopping by and for your awesome support of my endeavors!!

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      1. Jan- that would be so much fun to meet up with you and Linda. It would truly be a real honor and so much fun. You have a great day. 💞💞💞

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