I am honored to have author and blogger, Jan Sikes as my guest. She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors. Her award winning books are biographical and most recently, poetry.
Thank you, Karen, for generously offering to host a guest post. I deeply appreciate it.
You know, people ask me all the time if I wrote my books as a tribute to my late husband and my answer is always a quick, “No.”
These were stories that begged to be told and we thought for years that someone would come along to write them.
After he passed away, I still thought someone else would write the story. I awoke one morning to the realization that I was the only one who could write it as I was the only one there.
So, I got busy. I took writing courses at local Community Colleges and started with Chapter 1.
I originally started writing in first person. After a couple of pages, I realized that wasn’t going to work. I was too close to the story to effectively tell it.
A friend suggested that I tell the story through fictitious characters and I loved that idea. The names for the characters came almost instantly. When I was born, my mother had wanted to name me Darlene. My older brother had insisted on naming me Janice. Knowing that story, my character, Darlina, was born. Then Luke Stone’s name came just at fast. My favorite uncle growing up was Uncle Luke and the last name Stone fit, as did Darlina’s last name of Flowers. The last names also described their personalities.
After that decision, it was much easier to step back and let the characters tell the story.
Each book carries a different theme or premise.
Flowers and Stoneis a love story. It starts in 1970 in the West Texas town of Abilene. Darlina Flowers is trying to figure out how to fit into a world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason for caring about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome?
The Convict and the Roseis not about how horrible prison is, but instead a story of how Luke Stone struggled to find the strength to think, act and do only positive in a dark and negative place. It’s also the story of how Darlina Flowers, trapped in a prison of her own, attempts to go on living with only half a heart. This is a tale of triumph and tragedy, loss and gain, accomplishments and redemption and is meant to inspire hope.
Home At Lastis all about starting over from nothing to attempt to build a life. Released from federal prison after fifteen long years, Luke Stone boards a Greyhound bus bound for Texas, for home and the woman who holds his heart. He happily hangs up his neon dreams for a paint brush and hammer. Darlina Flowers has waited her entire adult life to become Mrs. Luke Stone, but will the hardships of starting over with nothing be too much? Their love is tested to the core as the story unfolds.
‘Til Death Do Us Partconcludes the series. Luke Stone has cheated death more times than he cares to remember. With a second music career opportunity, he knows he won’t fill the Texas dancehalls and honky-tonks like he did in his younger days but is determined to give it his all. Darlina, his rock and anchor, longs to see his dreams fulfilled and vows to do everything possible to help him find success. But, will time allow Luke to sing his last song?
Because these stories all revolve and evolve around music, I also released a music CD with each book that matches the time period of the story. It is original music written by Rick and Jan Sikes.
DISCOVERY – POETRY AND ART BY RICK AND JAN SIKESis a beautiful book of poems and pen-and-ink drawings.
When all of life is stripped away, left with no freedom except in his mind, Rick Sikes journeys deep inside to discover his true self. He finds the only way to survive hopeless negativity is through creating with his hands and imagination. They confined his body in an iron cage but could not lock away his mind.
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 both Rick and Jan Sikes.
In honor of NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, the eBook version of this poetry and art book is discounted.