#SundaySpotlight – The Real Deal – New Release from Jamie Richards @JRichardsBand

I am super excited about this segment of #SundaySpotlight! I’ve been a died-in-the-wool Jamie Richards fan since I first heard him play at Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering Music Festival in 2010.

Photo courtesy of Tara Bone Photography

So it is with great pleasure that I share with you his newest CD, The Real Deal!

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jamie to talk about the album and some of the specific songs on it.

Me: What inspired you to put out a new album in the midst of this pandemic?

Jamie: I try to put out an album every three years. I released a new album in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. And then it’s been five years since I did one. I had some money put back and knew I had enough to cover it and keep putting out singles and play the game. I know it sounds kinda crazy to talk about investing in a new record when I can’t get out and promote it like I normally do. But the pandemic didn’t stop people from buying music. And what better thing to do, if you can’t go out and hear live music, than to listen to it at home? So, maybe in some ways it was the perfect time to put out a new record. My whole career has always been really crazy. When everybody else is doing really great, I’m not. And when everybody else is suffering, I’m doing great. It’s been the weirdest thing. I’ve seen it my whole life. I watched it in Nashville and I see it in Texas. When everybody is getting bookings, my phone ain’t ringing, and when everybody else isn’t working, I get more gigs than I can do. My career has always been backwards.

Me: One of the things I think makes you and your band unusual, is the longevity you’ve had. What do you attribute that to?

Jamie: Well, several things. I think personalities play a big part. The people in my band like what I write and what I do, and if the artist writes something they really enjoy playing then they’re going to stick around. Another thing that I think is really important, is I do exactly what I say I’m going to do every time. If I tell them something, they can bank on it. I never short them and I do exactly what I say I’m going to do. The check’s always going to be good.

Me: As an observer, I see that the band has a genuine respect for you and your art.

Jamie: I think that’s true. In my twenty years of playing music in Texas, I’ve played with a lot of musicians and there are very few that I didn’t get along with or ever had any trouble with. That’s because I treat everyone the way I want to be treated.

Me: And that right there puts you in the category of “The Real Deal.” There are several of the songs on the album that really stood out to me and I’d like to know the stories behind them. Tell me about “Someone Else’s Trouble Now.”

Jamie: It is one of my favorite songs on the record. Generally, you don’t write a country song that says anything negative about the woman. It’s always the man’s fault. There’s not hardly any songs that are negative toward women. This song comes from experiences I’ve been through and dealt with. When we cut it I said I wanted it to sound like it would be in a Tarantino movie. I wrote it with a guy named Bryan Martin, who has just signed a record deal with a major label. I also wrote “Seeing Me Like This” with Bryan.

Me: That was another one that I really liked. The lyrics are so positive. “I never thought I’d be seeing me like this. In the arms of an angel, sent from up above. After years and years of heartache, to now finding true love…”

Jamie: Bryan and I wrote both of those the same weekend out on the lake. That was a good weekend.

Me: “Playing Hard To Forget” was another heart-tugging song.

Jamie: Yeah, it’s kind of a play on words. The woman can play hard to get, but even harder to forget. I wrote that one with Mark Powell.

Me: I think there’s a good story behind “Lakeview Grocery Store.”

Jamie: That is an exact true story. That store was less than a mile from my childhood home. It was the first little bit of freedom I remember feeling when I was a twelve-year-old boy. Me and the neighbor kids would meet up at the store and smoke cigarettes and drink beer if we could get someone to buy us some. The first girl I ever kissed was at the Lakeview Grocery Store. I still remember her name. But the song is definitely a true story.

Me: “Up In Twang” surprised me.

Jamie: I wrote that song when I was in Nashville and it’s sort of a tribute song to the road warriors, to the bands that set up and play night after night. There’s a lot of truth in it. I tend to do more ballad type songs, and it’s fun to add in an up tempo one like this or, “Loose, Loud & Crazy” now and then.

Me: Every song on this album fills the promise of the title of the album, “The Real Deal.” And within a few hours after its release, on Friday, January 22nd, it shot up the charts.

Jamie: What happened was weird. The day this record came out, one of the songs on it, “I Want To With You” went to number one.

That song had been out since about a month or two before Christmas and just happened to hit number one the exact day my album came out. It was a big day for me. I was so proud of the iTunes charting position. It got up to number 12 and that’s across the world. There I was, with no record label behind me, no backing, me doing all the work, and it shot up the world-wide chart. It didn’t go any higher than 12, but I was thrilled.

On that note, I’m going to share with you the liner notes from Jamie’s album that says it all.

I’d like to thank my record label, my producer, my road manager, my booking agent, my guitar tech, and all of my roadies… Just kidding. I do all of that myself!!

Cody Jinks national recording artist put this post up on Facebook regarding Jamie’s new album:

So, if you are a fan of traditional country music, you can’t help but love every song on this new album from Jamie Richards! For your convenience, here is the purchase link from Amazon! THE REAL DEAL

Or even better yet, buy it directly from Jamie so that he actually gets to keep the money! 🙂 https://jamierichardsshop.com/

And take a minute to follow Jamie on social media! You’ll never meet a nicer guy or more talented artist!

Website

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Food and Drink in #Writing #WritingCommunity

The concept of “show don’t tell” is drilled into us from the first day we begin learning the craft of writing. And, as we grow and improve our storytelling abilities, it becomes an integral part of the process. But there are many ways to “show” character traits, beliefs, desires and ideals.

As strange as it may sound, one such way is through food and drinks.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Let’s say you have a character who thrives on cold pizza and soda. That alone tells me loads about this character, whether male or female. #1 – They don’t like to cook, or don’t know how. #2 – They are not a health nut. #3 – They are always in a hurry and needing to grab something on the go.

Just that one food scenario says a lot.

In stark contrast, if you have a character who enjoys gourmet meals either at home or out, it is going to let the reader know something specific about him/her. Most likely, they are refined and possibly came from money. There are thousands of examples but you get the idea.

In my newest book, “Ghostly Interference,” my male character’s mother, Charlotte, is vegetarian. One of the meals she cooked was squash stuffed with rice and drizzled with cashew sauce. That showed her earthiness, but also creativity. Have you ever made cashew sauce? It’s not an easy process for sure. I had one reader who messaged me and said they actually tried making this dish and it turned out quite delicious. 🙂

The protagonist in my current WIP, is a rancher who operates a horse sanctuary. Of course, he is a big beef eater. Nothing else would fit him. But in contrast, the love interest in the story is a vegetarian. An unlikely combination, it will create some humorous moments between them. The contrast also gives me the opportunity to reveal more about each. Why did she decide to become vegetarian?

And it works with every character. What they eat or drink can show the reader more character depth and detail without having to tell them a thing.

What about coffee drinkers? The type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Research found that the black coffee drinkers were straight up, straightforward and no-nonsense individuals. The double decaf, soy, extra-foamy folks tend to be more obsessive, controlling, and detail-oriented. The latte drinkers tend to be neurotic and people-pleasers, while the instant coffee drinkers had a greater likelihood of being procrastinators. Finally, those individuals who order sweet drinks are the overgrown kids who retained the taste buds and sensibilities of children, while being young at heart. Interesting, huh?

Let’s talk about alcohol. Our character’s go-to drink can be just as much of a statement as the outfit he/she chooses to wear. Something about their alcohol preference (or strong aversion to) alludes to a deeper connection to their character, personality, and behavior.  The go-to drink for my protagonist in my current WIP is whiskey. He is a man’s man. She likes wine. So, what does that say about each of them?

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

The wine drinker is the one who asks the kinds of questions that cause you to choke on your drink a little. Expect this group to add spice to the conversation when needed—but be ready for anything with them. We rely on their social prowess for as long as we have the wine lovers, but we all know the compatibility between wine and sleepiness. Most wine drinkers tend to go to bed early. We could go into great detail between white and red wine drinkers, but I’ll leave that up to you in creating your character. Wine drinkers are considered more intellectual types as opposed to beer drinkers who are in it for the party.

We really have two categories for beer drinkers: the traditionalists and the craft beer drinkers. The line can be blurred at times between the two, but more often than not, we’re talking about entirely different people here.

Starting with the traditionalists. These are our stubborn ones. They simply do not care about your double-IPA, fruit-infused beer; give them their mass-produced, generic beer, and leave them the hell alone. This group isn’t swayed by conformity; instead, they’re driven by loyalty. They’ve been drinking the same old beer for 20-plus years now, and they’re not changing for anyone.

The diehard craft beer people have one plan and one plan only every weekend: go to a brewery. A flight of beer brings tears to their eyes. The real craft beer drinkers have a knack for detail. In 2020, they’re the new wine snobs. Out with tweed coats and in with scruffy beards and flannels. 

Then we have the whiskey, vodka, tequila, and gin drinkers. Whiskey drinkers tend to know their way around alcohol and have a respectable tolerance for it. With vodka, it’s less about what your favorite alcohol says about you and more about your preferred cocktail that makes the real statement. Tequila drinkers are plain and straightforward, in that they all love to party. The saying, “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” fits. Gin drinkers love the fact that you can’t get a read on them, and they’re honestly probably just drinking gin to confuse you even more. This group’s usual label is the “intellectual” tag.

I know there are tons more alcohols and foods we could explore, but the purpose of this post is to look at how we can use them to give our characters multi-dimensional layers.

It is really fascinating, and simply another tool to help us “show” the readers who our characters are and what makes them tick without telling them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and some of the ways you have used food and drink to show your characters’ personalities.

#TuesdayRunes – Introduction

Welcome to a brand new series where we will explore the mysteries and magic of the runes!

I want to start with a brief history of and introduction to the runes.

To most, the various symbols that make up what we call “the runes” may be seen simply as archaic remnants of a primitive and long-abandoned alphabet. While this is true to some degree, those who work with these mystical symbols in divination know they are far more.

Although the runes have not been in widespread use for several centuries, the past few decades have seen quite a revival of interest in runic magic and divination. If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkein, you’re bound to be familiar with some of these symbols, which appeared in The Hobbitt, and inspired the invented “runic” alphabet in The Lord of the Rings.

In the academic sense, the runes are known as the characters in a group of alphabets used to write in various languages spoken by the Germanic peoples of Europe during a period starting roughly in the first century B.C.E. (before The Common Era) and ending several hundred years later.

However, unlike our modern letters, the runic symbols had been in use for magical purposes long before they were fashioned into a writing system. The runes carried deep meanings for the people who used them, and for this reason they never disappeared completely, even though they were once banned by the Christian church.

The English word rune, comes from the Norse word runa, which means “a secret” or “to whisper.” The Norse runa is also the root for the English word we use to identify a very magical tree, the rowan. Found throughout Northern Europe, the rowan tree has long been sacred to various magical traditions and is used widely for protection. It is known by many folk names, including “rune tree” and “whisper tree.”

The oldest written record of the runes comes from the Nordic region. Throughout Nordic literature, the runes are portrayed as powerful and even potentially dangerous magical tools

The runes most widely used today in divination and magic practices are known as the Elder Futhark (footh-ark), the oldest known runic script.

And that is the script that we will be exploring throughout this series.

There is a total of 24 runic symbols and one blank in each set.

Another important aspect of a rune set is the pouch in which you keep them. When I was studying them as part of a psychic development class in Denver, many years ago, we were instructed to make our own set of runes plus a personal pouch. The bag I made is the one on the left below and I keep my wooden set of runes inside it. On the right is a silk bag in which I store a set of opalescent rune stones which I purchased.

The runes I made at that time, are the runes I will mostly be using throughout this series. There was something magical in that process. I found myself often in a meditative state.

I will do much like I did with the #TarotTuesday series in that we will explore each rune symbol, then I will do some three rune and five rune readings. So, settle in and I hope you will enjoy this journey with me as together, we learn more about this ancient method of divination!

**Also, on a side note: If you are interested in making your own set of runes, this is the guide I highly recommend.**

Monday #Meditation #Motivation

Good morning. I am inspired to start a new series that I hope you will find beneficial.

Each Monday, I will post a different short meditation that will help to ground, yet uplift you. If you are not familiar with, and new to meditation, these short guided journeys is a great place to start. Meditation may help enhance self-awareness, eliminate stress and anxiety, and promote emotional health.

Today’s short meditation with Jason Stephenson:

Have a great start to your week and banish ALL negative self-talk!

“Sleighed” – New Release from WJ Scott! @WendyJayneScott @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

There is nothing like a fresh new Christmas story from Santa’s workshop to keep the spirit of Christmas going into the new year! And that’s what W.J. Scott has done. I’ll let her tell you about it!

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/QGx59ifI3Aw

Blurb:

Tinsel is the newest apprentice in Santa’s Workshop, but this young elf lands himself in strife on his first day!

He’s sent to care for the reindeer and instead ends up on a magical adventure.

Will the Toy-Inspector allow him back into the Workshop?

A fun Christmas story for younger readers and those young at heart.

Amazon Universal Link http://mybook.to/Sleighed

In March 2019, my sister (who lives in Canada), visited me in New Zealand, and we embarked on a memory tour. We revisited places from our childhood, including Queenstown, where our grandmother used to live.

Our great-grandfather had been an engineer on the iconic century-old coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, back in the day when it transported stock and supplies across Lake Wakatipu. We enjoyed a delightful sunny cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.

During our travels, we set a challenge, to each write a 1500 word story. I chose to write a Children’s Christmas story, based on a writing prompt from my Aspiring Author Series, and that’s how, ‘Sleighed’, came to be created. 

Aspiring Author Series Link Aspiring Author Series (6 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)

Author Bio:

Wendy Scott has a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry), which allows her to dabble with fuming potions and strange substances, satisfying her inner witch.

Wendy writes short stories, fantasy, and children’s novels. Her books have won multiple awards.

One of the creeds she lives by is to always – Live a life less ordinary!

Full book list http://www.wendyjscott.com/

Amazon Universal Link http://mybook.to/Sleighed

Connect with Wendy:

Children’s Websites

http://www.authorchildrens.com

http://www.hieroglyph.ws

http://www.tails-wjscott.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ChildrenAuthorWJScott

Twitter:

@WendyJayneScott

Pinterest:

#Bookreviews – Ghostly Interference and Brazos Wind by Jan Sikes

My heart is overflowing with appreciation for not only one but two amazing reviews from Robbie Cheadle!

Ghostly Interference

Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series) Kindle Edition

What Amazon says

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

My review

Ghostly Interference is an unusual romance between a middle class…

View original post 652 more words

Rise of Gadreel – #NewRelease @VashtiQV @RRBC_Org

I am happy to share a new book release from fellow RRBC author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega!

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I’m grateful to be a guest on Jan’s fabulous blog.

Which type of heroes do you like best in stories?

I prefer heroes who have flaws. Someone who is genuinely good but who has made mistakes, who has faced challenges and doubts, and who is sometimes vulnerable . . . a person who perhaps starts off ordinary, and as the story unfolds, becomes more apparent. I enjoy reading about heroes who are intelligent, selfless, kind, and courageous. They feel the fear and do what needs to be done anyway. I find the classic hero, who is perfect in every way and completely fearless, kind of boring. Gadreel is the type of hero I enjoy reading about.

Excerpt:

Sabina dismounted her horse and treaded up to the gate. She placed a hand on the stone wall and lurched back. “A witch cast a binding spell on this town.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“A magical binding is a hex that restrains people, preventing them from doing something.” Sabina placed both palms against the gate and closed her eyes briefly. “An effective sorcerer did not want the people of this town to leave.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I rode past the gate into Warwick, and the others followed me.

We climbed off our mounts. I kissed my horse on its neck and told him to lead the others to water. They galloped away, and we ambled on. Every surface, every blade of grass and twig, grew long ice crystals. In the distance a low clinging fog concealed the homes at the top of the road. 

We continued toward the east of town and ran across a monastery. Blackened and charred walls crumbled under the weight of ashes. The ruins were still smoking, even in this frigid weather. We maneuvered the creaking threshold and came across the charred remains of several monks. One of them lay curled knee-to-nose, while another gripped his pectoral cross with both hands. Glass littered the floor where the windows had broken, and oil lamps lay blackened and twisted on the ground amid the corpses.

“Almost nothing escaped the bloody fire,” Golem said.

Dracúl banged his fist against a wall, almost knocking it down, and stormed out of the monastery. I followed him, and the others trailed behind.

“There’s a castle on the hill,” I said. “Let’s go there. Perhaps there’s someone who can tell us what happened here.”

Dracúl stared ahead, blood tears pooling in his eyes, and we moved on. 

More rotting bodies lay strewn on the streets as we made our way to the castle. Most had missing parts. Many of the corpses’ middles had a strange bowl-shaped appearance. Upon closer inspection, we realized that their organs had been removed. Their chests and abdomens caved in because they were hollow. 

“Why?” Golem whispered. 

There should have been a foul stench in the air, but the cold, dry winds somehow inhibited the release of the disgusting stink coming off the dead bodies. 

We knocked on doors and searched inside the dwellings. We passed the charred remains of a house. Upon investigation, we learned that the only edifices burned down were those that stored food and sheltered livestock, but this particular house was a regular family home. Why was it burned? Only its skeleton stood under the vibrant wintry sun. Sabina rushed inside, and before long, a scream pierced the air. We hurried in to find Sabina motionless with her hands covering her mouth. I steeled myself, went to her, and gasped at the gruesome scene. 

I hope the excerpt intrigued you. Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks again for the visit.

A Stellar Review for Ghostly Interference! @Wildrosepress @sdaileyauthor

Author, Sandra Dailey, has posted a 5-Star review on her blog site today. Check out what she has to say about the story! I am on cloud nine!!

https://sandradailey.blogspot.com/2021/01/review-of-ghostly-interference-by-jan.html

Ghostly Interference is still on sale through January 22nd!!

PURCHASE LINK

Blog Tour Has Ended – What I Learned

After making many magical miles around the globe in my virtual bus, for a total of thirty-one stops, it’s down for repairs! And so am I. 🙂

One thing I learned from this tour is that bloggers are the most generous and giving people on the face of the earth!

While there was a core group (my virtual blogger family) who showed up at every stop, there were also new potential readers discovered along the way. In the blogging world, we all tend to move in a circle and through tours like this one, my circle widened.

The most shared post was the one at Jacquie Biggar’s site. Jacquie, you have an amazing base of followers, and I am grateful that you allowed me to share my story with them! I’m still seeing new shares show up on Twitter.

The blog stop with the most comments was Mae Clair. What a fun topic we had to discuss that day!

The average number of comments per blog stop was an astounding sixty.

The most interaction came from posts that included something personal about myself such as the one I shared on John Howell’s blog site. It seems that folks want to know more about the author and personal experiences and I totally get that. You can find out about the book through a simple blurb, but the author behind the book seems to be more intriguing. I’ve never thought of myself as intriguing or even slightly interesting, but it was fun sharing little known facts about me.

The facebook shares and tweets were amazing. For me, Twitter is a better platform for this kind of promotion as the retweets can keep it going. Each time I logged into Twitter, I saw my book being blasted.

My fear was that everyone would get sick of me and Ghostly Interference before the tour ended. But, with new people stopping by, I hope that didn’t happen.

Will I do it again?

I don’t know. I feel that this was a very successful blog tour and I had fun writing all the different blog posts. If you missed any of the stops and want to go back, here’s the link. https://jansikesblog.com/2021/01/16/book-tour-ended-ghostly-interference-wildrosepress/

But for now, I’m exhausted and ready to take a break from marketing and dive back into writing book 3 of The White Rune Series.

I sincerely thank ALL of you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity in sharing, commenting and uplifting me along the way! It’s been quite a ride!

This is me today.

Courtesy of Vector Stock

BOOK TOUR Ended – GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE @WildRosePress

This has been one helluva ride!

If you missed any of the stops, you can still visit and join in the fun!

Day 1: D.L. Finn and Amber Daulton

Day 2: Petticoats & PistolsStaci TroiloMarcia Meara

Day 3: Gwen Plano

Day 4: Joan Hall

Day 5: Mark Bierman

Day 6: Patty Perrin

Day 7: Miriam Hurdle and Balroop Singh

Day 8: C.S. Boyack

Day 9: John W. Howell

Day 10: Debby Gies

Day ll: Harmony Kent

Day 12: Pete Springer

Day 13: Pat Garcia

Day 14: Judith Barrow

Day 15: Heather Kindt

Day 16: Mae Clair and Jacquie Biggar

Day 17: Yvette Calleiro

Day 18: Sarah Stuart and Julie Samrick

Day 19: Robbie Cheadle

Day 20: Kimberly Baer

Day 21: 4 Wills Publishing

Rox Burkey

Shirley Harris Slaughter

Charles W. Jones

The Blog Tour Maven

Susanne Leist

Comments are closed here because I want you to comment on the blog sites, please. 🙂 And Thank You!