#MKTG – Part 6 – Pinterest #SocialMediaMarketing #Pinterest

I am at Story Empire today with a book marketing post about Pinterest. Have you ever thought of using Pinterest to promote your work? Take a look!

Story Empire

Hello, SE’rs. It’s Jan again with another look at social media marketing. The topic today is Pinterest.

I think of Pinterest as a huge virtual file cabinet. I am forever saving blog posts that I want to reference later, or that I simply want to save. So, when I came across the idea of promoting a pin, it was news to me.

I kept seeing the option to promote pop-up when I would pin something new to my account. So, because of my promise to you, I decided to explore.

Promoting a pin was fairly easy, although I now know that I missed a few important steps on this first try.

The pin I chose to promote was a blog post featuring a 5-star review of my book.

All I did was open the pin and click on the “promote” button. In three steps, I was done. I never saw…

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Monday #Motivation #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonCard

Good morning! Welcome to a new day, a new week, a clean slate on which to write our stories.

WhiteWolf.com

This is such a beautiful meditation with a powerful mantra to begin a new day.

I was drawn back to the Tarot Cards for our weekly reading. I love the message!

Photo by Jan Sikes 10-18-21

The Two of Pentacles is about endless juggling. As you can see from the image, he has two pentacles he has continuously in motion with the infinity symbol. This card invites you to manage your time and your priorities carefully. Your workload is high right now, and to get everything done, you need to stay focused and productive. You may benefit from a ‘to do’ list, better calendar management, and a stricter schedule. (I know. I hear you groaning because I am too) With the approaching holiday season, this is timely. Balance is a must.

The Knight of Pentacles represents hard work, effort, and the responsibility of following a dream. Notice the sturdy strength of the horse the knight is seated upon. When this card appears in a Tarot reading, you are working methodically towards your goals. You have a plan in place and are sticking to your schedule to get the job done. You may not work particularly quickly, but you are consistent, dedicated, and committed to your goal. Put one foot in front of the other and finish the job. This card also asks you to continue doing what you are doing, plodding along and making gradual progress. No need to change your approach. Go with the flow, stick to your usual routines, and over time, you will reach your goals.

Then the Hanged Man tells us to take a pause from all that hard work and reflect on what’s really important in life. It can sometimes indicate a delay. Don’t keep pushing forward, hoping that more force will drive you to where you want to go. Instead, surrender to the opportunity to pause and view it as your chance to reassess and re-evaluate where you are on your path. Something new is emerging, and you won’t be able to see it unless you allow the time and space for it to come through. **Addendum** Many thanks to C.S. Boyack for pointing out that the Hanged Man is reversed. I did not see that. Whether I accidentally flipped him, or he came out of the deck that way, who knows. but it does change the reading.

Reversed Hanged Man can indicate the need to hit the pause button. And if we don’t heed the warning, we may end up crashing and burning. It can also indicate delays or things being put on hold, much to our frustration.

My takeaway:

I almost had to laugh out loud at this card spread. We have the balancing act of too much to do, hard work, then put on the brakes. So, to me, it is saying for this week, work hard, stay balanced, and don’t resist taking pause at the end of the week for a little R&R. We don’t want to crash and burn! Sounds good to me! And how ironic that we have a full moon in Aries this week which is full of drive and passion, then moving into stillness by the weekend when the moon is void of course inviting us to take it easy.

And as always, the beautiful little dragons bring such an uplifting message.


The Texans Favor – #NewRelease @dk_deters #WesternRomance @NetGalley @WildRosePress

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Wild Rose Press. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Purchase Link

Jake Fontaine, a Texas Ranger, is hot on the trail of the vicious outlaw, Grizzly Duvall, when everything goes wrong.

Kat Collins is hellbent on escaping from her abusive uncle when she witnesses the ambush that will end the lawman’s life. She makes a rash decision to fire at the attackers and her actions save him.

Now, Jake is obligated. But because she’s dressed like a boy, he doesn’t realize she’s a woman until her hat falls off and her braid tumbles out. His Texas code of ethics won’t allow him to leave a woman alone in the wilds of Kansas. Frustrated that this new turn of events causes him to lose the outlaw he is so determined to capture, he offers to accompany her to the ferry that will take her across the river to St. Louis.

Kat is strongly independent. She needs no one. She will make it to St. Louis and start a new life as a seamstress. So, when Jake insists on accompanying her, she makes it clear she does not need his help.

Thus begins a tumultuous relationship. Each struggles to deny any attraction they feel.

Things go sideways when Kat’s uncle catches up to the pair and forces Jake to marry her. After all her uncle is a judge and the marriage is legal and binding. For me, this part of the story was not believable. That a man would go to all the trouble to track down his niece, then not force her to return with him seemed a little far-fetched.

But now they’re married and when one night of passion brings them together, maybe they are going to work out their differences after all.

Not the case. While Jake is sleeping, Kat sneaks away, taking his horse with her.

Throughout the rest of the story, Kat is running and Jake is pursuing and each time they meet up, their relationship switches from cold to hot in seconds.

The story ramps up when Jake’s grandfather goes to St. Louis to find Kat and get her out of his grandson’s life forever. But instead, in five short weeks, he falls in love with the woman who has given birth to his great-granddaughter and on his dying bed, wills the ranch in Texas to her.

Now things get really complicated. Jake is betrothed to another. He has no idea he has a daughter.

He and Kat are like oil and water. I grew a little frustrated with both of them at different times during the story when they lied to each other and danced around the truth over and over.

However, the story does culminate into an action-filled shoot-out and happy ending.

If not for the frustration I felt while reading the story, and a couple of plot twists that were not believable, this would be a five-star read for me. However, I give it a four-star rating.

If you enjoy westerns, and tumultuous romances, you would enjoy this story.

#1000! Premiere and Release Date! #Blogging #Giveaway

I have a release date for JAGGED FEATHERS!!
And I have a brand new, hot-off-the-press Book Trailer Video for Jagged Feathers!
AND, drum roll please…….. I just posted my one-thousandth blog!
Created in Canva by Jan Sikes
When I decided a few years ago to start blogging consistently, I only had a handful of followers and less than a handful of ideas to blog about. Now, I have a little over 10,000 followers and am never lacking for content. I’ve posted writing tips, marketing ideas, shared new releases from other authors, shared book reviews, supported blog tours, promoted indie music artists, shared personal stories, and incorporated my passion for all things metaphysical into my blog. So, now the process seems almost effortless. I recently experimented with a Facebook Passion Page, only to soon realize I did not have the time or energy to support or build up another page. So, I’ve transferred all of my passions to my blog. I am an avid reader, therefore love sharing reviews for the books I read. I get a thrill of supporting other authors with their new releases or tours. Exploring music history or sharing new music from indie artists brings me joy. But what gets me more excited than anything else I blog about are my Monday posts with a motivational meme, a meditation, either rune or tarot card reading and a beautiful dragon card. My hope is to bring inspiration to someone’s day. We live in tumultuous and challenging times. We need all the help we can get to stay positive. I’ve recently incorporated a regular Wednesday post about gemstones and their metaphysical properties that runs along that same vein. I want to make the world a better place through blogging! So, to celebrate my blogging journey and reaching 1,000 posts, I am going to give away some things. 🙂
$10 Amazon Gift Cards (Two) Tiger’s Eye Gemstone (Two – U.S. Only) Rose Quartz Gemstone (Two – U.S. Only) Ghostly Interference eBook Format (One) Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide eBook Short Story (Three to celebrate Halloween Month)
Here’s how you can enter.
  1. Follow me on BookBub
  2. Sign up to receive my Newsletter
  3. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  4. Follow me on Amazon
  5. Share my new Book Trailer Video for Jagged Feathers
  6. Follow me on Twitter
  7. Like my Facebook Author Page
  8. Follow my Blog!!
That’s eight ways you can be entered to win!!! Winners will be announced next week! Thank you for coming along with me on this journey! It’s been a fun ride so far!

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Til Death Do Us Part,” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3

Colleen Chesebro has posted her review for ‘Til Death Do Us Part, and I am humbled by her words. Please head over and share! Thank you!

Colleen M. Chesebro

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times than 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 willpower 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…

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#WednesdayWonders – Rose Quartz #gemstones

Welcome back to another Wednesday Wonder! Today, I am featuring another very common gemstone, the Rose Quartz.

Rose Quartz is well-known for its pink lustrous color and is often used in jewelry making. I have lots of pieces of it and use it in different ways.

Rose Quartz is the Universal stone of love and is also called The Heart Stone.

It restores trust and harmony in relationships, encouraging unconditional love.  Rose Quartz purifies and opens the heart at all levels to promote love, self-love, friendship, deep inner healing, and feelings of peace.  Calming and reassuring, it helps to comfort in times of grief.  Rose Quartz dispels negativity and protects against environmental pollution, replacing it with loving vibes.  It encourages self forgiveness and acceptance invoking self-trust and self-worth.

Rose Quartz strengthens and balances the physical heart and circulatory system, and releases impurities from body fluids.  It hastens recovery, reduces high blood pressure, aids chest and lung problems, heals the kidneys and adrenals, and alleviates vertigo. Rose Quartz has the power to increase fertility and to protect both mother and unborn fetus from miscarriage.

The Rose Quartz stone is strongly attached to both the heart chakra and the throat chakra. It can range in color. Some Rose Quartz crystals can be as pale as a new dawn and others can be almost violet in color. Boasting an earthly element and vibrating at the spiritual number of seven, Rose Quartz manages to occupy that space between being a thing of pure mystery while also being a comforting and gloriously grounding force. 

One of the ways I use this stone daily is to put it in my water purifier container in the refrigerator. And I always take it out of the water and recharge it under the full moon.

If you want to bring Rose Quartz into your beauty routine, then soak a polished crystal in a bowl or jar with fresh spring water and a handful of rose petals. Put the jar out into the sun for several hours so the water can become infused with the power of the Rose Quartz. Strain the water and add to a spritz bottle to mist your face morning and eve.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have Rose Quartz among your gemstones, or in jewelry?

Monday #Motivation #Meditation #RuneReading #DragonCard

This week’s theme seems to be about creativity and ways to let that energetic exchange flow.

I was drawn back to the runes this week for a reading and chose to use my set of moonstone runes.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The first rune in the past position is actually the last rune in the Elder Futhark alphabet, Othala. If you remember from our rune study, this rune represents our heritage, tradition, or family ties. Perhaps we are being encouraged to revisit our roots, our deepest ingrained beliefs. Othala can represent maintaining a status quo, the way things have always been done. In an ever-changing world, however, it’s up to us to distinguish between what is useful to hang onto and what needs to be discarded so that you can live and grow in your own authenticity.

The rune in the present position is Mannaz and symbolizes humanity. It represents the characteristics that set humans apart from the rest of Earth’s living creatures—the ability to create for the sake of creativity itself. It can also indicate the need to either ask for or give support or assistance.

The rune in the future position is Eihwaz, which you might remember symbolizes the yew tree (both death and regeneration). It can indicate an ending that will lead to a new beginning. Maybe you’ve come to the end of a project and looking forward to the next. Or, you may find yourself needing to leave behind old ways to make way for new and more authentic ways of living. Again, it goes back to the first rune and doing things the ways we always have while expecting something to change. It won’t happen.

My takeaway from this reading:

It is time to step strongly into our own truth, separate from perhaps the way our parents taught us to live and grow into our higher selves. When we do that, the energetic flow of creativity increases and it’s always okay to ask for assistance or offer help when you see someone struggling. Once we reach an ending, there is always a new beginning. If we want to bring about change, we have to start with ourselves.

I love this dragon card for the week. While the theme started out with creativity, it ends with change. Perhaps the two are connectively intertwined.

Have a great week!

Up Up And Away! @rohrballoons

After two years of delays and failed coordination attempts, I finally got to go up in a hot air balloon and mark that off my bucket list.

The entire process fascinated me, from setting the balloon up to taking it down.

The balloon company is Rohr Balloons. The owner, Brian, and his wife Sherry are personal friends. Their daughter is the same age as my granddaughter and the two girls have gone to school together since first grade.

Once the balloon is attached to the overturned basket, they set in place big diesel-powered fans to begin inflating it.

Next, Brian tests the burners.

Brian Rohr

Now the balloon is fully inflated and ready to get set upright. Climbing into the basket was a challenge, but I managed. And we took off.

The liftoff is absolutely magical. There is no motion, no sound except for the firing of the burners and you slowly drift up and over the treeline. That was my favorite part! We rose to a little over 6,000 feet. Then I could see forever!

I loved looking upward into the balloon!

We flew for close to an hour and a half. I hate to use the word flew because it was more like floated or drifted. Such an incredibly free feeling and a great way to gain a new perspective on life.

Close to the end of the flight, we did what Brian called a “splash and dash” where he touched the basket down on the surface of a local lake, then quickly rose back up and over the treeline and high line wires. That was fun!

The landing was a little rough. Brian instructed us all on how to brace for the landing and to be prepared for possibly tipping over. That had my heart racing just a little. But he managed to keep us upright and we all safely exited the basket.

Then, we were treated to a champagne toast, and refreshments while Brian relates the story of how that tradition got started. Apparently, in the early days of hot air ballooning, they literally burned wood or other objects to make the balloon rise. The pilots would often land in farmers’ fields and accidentally set fires. So they started bringing libations to appease the farmers. Whether or not that is true, it made for a good story and a toast to a safe landing.

It was a fabulous experience that I look forward to repeating.

If you’d like more information about balloon rides in North Texas, here are some links for you.

Website

Twitter

Facebook

#NewRelease – Things Old and Forgotten @maeclair1 #ShortStories

I became a fan of Mae Clair’s writing with the first book I read. She is not only a talented storyteller but a friend and fellow blogger at Story Empire. I am super thrilled that she has released this new collection of short stories! I’ll let her tell you about it!

And because I am letting Mae Clair have my blog today, there will not be a Wednesday Wonder until next week. 🙂

Hi, Jan. Thanks for hosting me today and allowing me to share my newest release with your readers. Things Old and Forgotten is a collection of short fiction that includes stories in several genres—magical realism, fantasy, speculative, even two that touch on mild horror.

When I was in tenth grade, my English teacher gave me his Lord of the Rings book collection to read, and an entire new realm unfolded before my eyes. Prior to that I’d been reading mostly science-fiction, but the discovery of epic fantasy was unlike anything I’d encountered before. I was hooked and spent the next decade devouring books of wizardry, magical artifacts, and enchanted realms. To this day, I still love a good epic fantasy or sword-and-sorcery novel. When it came time to put together my collection of stories for Things Old and Forgotten, I couldn’t resist including a few fantasy tales. Below is the opening from Kin-Slayer, one of the fantasy tales included in my collection.

I will permit the ghosts their share.

****

I remember the ocean, glittering with a thousand faceted eyes, sunlight bright as diamonds on the surface. The scent of salt heavy in the air as it twined with the black smoke of cooking fires and the reek of fish left to dry beneath the sun. My home was nestled in a simple village. Small and secluded, Ceadon squatted on a bluff overlooking the water, her nexus a ragged sphere of thatch-roofed hovels.

She was a giddy perch, erected high on a pinnacle of wind-blasted rock. As children, E’ana and I often sat on the edge, watching the tide roll from shore as it carried our father and the other fishermen from sight. In the evening, we would meet them on the beach, anxious to ogle the day’s catch—seaweed-draped pots brimming with lobster and crab, nets so heavy they hugged the sand as the men unloaded a bounty of bluefish and tuna.

It was a modest life, fitting and welcome in those idyllic days of childhood. But childhood, like all things, fades with the passing of time.

At fifteen, E’ana was chosen as a First Daughter, one of the select betrothed to the Leviathan. Though I found the prospect disquieting, E’ana trembled with excitement. She slept little that night, tossing and turning.

I could stand her restlessness no longer. “You’ll make a fine bride, E’ana.”

She twisted in her bed to face me. “I wondered if you were awake.” Her voice sounded watery, as though she’d been crying. A black nebula of hair tumbled over her shoulders. “What if he doesn’t choose me? Atalayah, it would destroy Father if I were passed over! He was so proud of me today.”

Beyond the walls of the hut, wind played over the dunes, conjuring sand into fleeting demons. Wind can sound like water when it chooses—merciless, powerful. It made me think of dried fish heads twined with kelp and hung from doorways as protection against gales. Of the Elders huddled in their shacks. They feared the wind almost as much as the denizens of the deep, but there was no sky god to placate and bribe with virgin flesh as they did with the sea.

“It isn’t a failure to be passed over, E’ana. Many of the First Daughters have lasted as long as three seasons. The matrons speak of a few who survived all five and were permitted to marry.”

“What men would have them?”

My anger flared. “Better to wed flesh than die in the sea!”

“Atalayah!”    

“I’m sorry. That was jealousy speaking.”

The lie appeared to pacify her.

“And what have you to be jealous of, sister? You may never be a First Daughter, but you are a First Sword. One would be hard-pressed to name the greater honor.”

“As you say.” I had no further words, knowing they would fall on deaf ears. In time, I heard the evenness of her breathing, signaling sleep. Inwardly, I seethed. Didn’t she realize the luxuries of a First Daughter—the finest fish of the day’s catch, the best seat at village festivals, even the perfumed silks imported from the south—were simply bribes to soften the blow? The Elders told her she was destined for immortality, but she was an offering, nothing more. The Leviathan might protect us from sea dragons and merrows, but its cost of tribute was too high.

The sky had grayed with dawn before I found the peace to sleep.


BOOK BLURB:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.


Thanks again for hosting me, Jan. In honor of my love for autumn—a fantastic time to curl up with a book—Things Old and Forgotten will be on sale for .99c through October 31st.

PURCHASE LINKS:

US
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HP4Q6QC/r 

UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09HP4Q6QC/ 

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media

Monday #Motivation #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonCard

Welcome to another Monday post! Today’s motivational quote comes from a piece of writing Rick Sikes did in 1977. For all his Texas cowboy ways, he was a deep thinker and writer.

Created in Canva by Jan Sikes

Today’s meditation is to help bring a positive focus to our day.

Today, I was compelled to go back to the Tarot cards for a message for the week.

Photo by Jan Sikes 10/4/21

The Five of Cups shows a man in mourning. Three cups are overturned in front of him and he is disappointed in something. But it’s all a mindset. If he would only turn around, there are two more upright cups awaiting him. So, it can indicate regrets or loss. This card is in the past position, which I am glad for! The Seven of Cups could not be more opposite! It is a card of new opportunities, choices, and at times, possibly illusions. When the Seven of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, you have many options and opportunities from which you can choose. But be careful! You are prone to illusion and unrealistic ideals. It is always wise to evaluate your options and dig below the surface to discover what’s involved with each choice. Often, the Seven of Cups can be a sign of wishful thinking and projecting into the future about what you would like to create, rather than taking action here in the present to make it happen. For example, you may wish for a fitter, more healthy body, until it’s time to get out there and exercise ( Oh my Lord! That’s me!).

We end by looking to the future of the week with the Page of Swords. This card is full of energy, passion, and enthusiasm. When this card shows up in a Tarot reading, you are bursting with new ideas and plans for the future. You may be excited about starting a new project, pursuing a new approach, or learning something new. You have so much energy that you feel as though you could do almost anything – and you can! The challenge, however, is whether you can keep it up. As with all Pages, the beginning always looks promising, but you need something else to follow through and keep up the pace.

My takeaway: Don’t mourn or wallow in what you may perceive as losses or regrets. Instead, look forward to the many options in front of you, but choose wisely, then let the energy of the Page of Swords launch you into your choice.

This week’s Dragon Card is incredibly gorgeous! How many of you were aware that we have a Causal Chakra? I only recently learned of it. It is situated on the back of the head.