Birthday Month – Free Short Story – Radio Interview – Book Award Finalist

August is my birthday month, and to help celebrate, I’ve made Voodoo Or Destiny: You Decide free until Friday! I’d love it if you’d pick up a copy to help me observe another trip around the sun. There will be another free short story next week!

FREEBIE LINK

I have been asked to be a guest on a streamed radio show Wednesday, August 17th at 10 am CST, and I would be thrilled if you could tune in! I will be talking about my writing journey with Friendlee Buffington. And I’m looking forward to it!

Streaming Link

Here’s the link to the show: https://www.facebook.com/friendleenews/

Also, I am super thrilled to learn that Jagged Feathers has made the finalist list for the North Texas Book Festival Book Awards!! The winners will be announced Saturday, August 20th, before the book festival begins. I’m on pins and needles! Cross your fingers for a win for this book!

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, the Amazon price has been reduced.

PURCHASE LINK

Saddled Hearts is still available for pre-order with a release date of October 19, 2022.

That’s it for now. More to come!

#MondayMotivation – #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonOracleCard

This month is already flying by as we hit the halfway mark. I know of no way to slow time down. My mom used to say the older she got, the faster time went. I am starting to believe it.

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I found this meditation with wonderful affirmations.

And now for the message from the Tarot for our week.

Photo by Jan Sikes

When the Eight of Cups shows up in a Tarot reading, you may feel compelled to walk away from a situation. It suggests you sense that something is missing, particularly on an emotional or spiritual level, and instead of waiting around for things to get better, you know you need to leave that unfulfilling situation. It may not make sense to others because, on the face, it looks as if you have everything you had wished for – but, deep down, you know it’s not serving your Highest Good, and it’s time for you to let it go and move on. The Eight of Cups invites you to ask yourself what brings you joy, contentment, and fulfillment on a deeper level. Without it, you might pursue goals that fail to give you the satisfaction you’re seeking.

The Nine of Pentacles indicates financial independence or basking in the fruits of your labors. You’ve worked hard, and now is the time to enjoy the rewards. Thanks to your independent efforts, self-confidence, and discipline, you attained a well-deserved success and created a stable foundation for your life. You have achieved so much, and while you may not be at the finish line just yet, this is your opportunity to acknowledge your achievements and re-energize yourself for the final phase.

The Sun card is fitting for the hot summer month of August. It represents success, radiance, and abundance. The Sun gives you strength and tells you that no matter where you go or what you do, your positive and radiant energy will follow you and bring you happiness and joy. If you are going through a difficult time, The Sun brings you the message you have been waiting for: that things will get better, a lot better! Through the challenges along your path, you discovered who you are and why you’re here. The Sun connects you to your power base – not fear-driven, egotistical power, but the abundant, inner energy radiating through you right now. You’ll sense it in your Solar Plexus chakra, calling you to express yourself authentically and be fully present in the world around you.

MY TAKEAWAY:

There are times in life when we have to turn our backs on a situation that no longer serves us. It could be something small, like a craving for unhealthy foods, or it could be larger and on a more emotional level. But the cards following indicate joy, abundance, and success is to be had by taking the initiative to walk away and move toward the joyous energy of the sun!

This is a card I don’t think I’ve ever drawn before, but how amazing that it follows the Sun card!

Magenta Dragon
Enables you to bring forward your soul wisdom. Awaken your soul memories and higher spiritual understanding. Prepare for accelerated ascension!

Firestorm by @97_taylormoore @WmMorrowBooks @customhousebks #NetGalley

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and William Morrow Books. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

PURCHASE LINK

Riveting from start to finish! That’s the only way I know to describe Taylor Moore’s second book in the Garrett Kohl series. The story opens in the midst of a gripping confrontation with a deadly cartel boss in which bullets are flying, and bodies are falling. Folks, that’s just the first chapter, and it only escalates from there.

From the drug lord takedown in the first chapter to Russian espionage in the final chapters, this book kept me on the edge of my seat. Talon, a large international energy consortium, has moved into the Texas panhandle, where Garrett Kohl owns a ranch, and they possess the mineral rights to his land. That’s where the trouble starts.
This book is filled with pedal-to-the-metal, heart-stopping danger and action involving the CIA, DEA, and high-level governments across the globe.

There are a good many characters and different points of view in this story, but each was necessary and vital to keep it moving. Knowing what each character was thinking and feeling added depth to the story without turning into head-hopping.

I love how Moore interjects such strong Texas sayings and influences. For example, “Among the many things to be learned since his arrival in Texas was the cowboy code. The rules weren’t written or spoken but rather lived out during everyday life.”
And this: “Whether it was the rusted pumpjacks to the south or the windswept ranches and farmland to the north, it was a place with a deep soul and tough-as-leather exterior.”

Moore’s knowledge of and love for this rugged land shines through in his writing. Family loyalty, respect for and love for the godforsaken plains of Northwest Texas, and realistic, unforgettable characters are what place this pulse-pounding tale a head and shoulders above the rest.

The author put in just enough backstory that any reader won’t be lost by starting the series with this book. However, I do highly recommend reading “Down Range” first, simply because you don’t want to miss out on any part of this series!

If you are a fan of edge-of-your-seat thrillers, this series is for you!

Want to keep up with what this ambitious author is doing? Psssst…rumor has it that Down Range is being made into a movie. Congrats to Taylor!

Follow Taylor Moore:

Twitter

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Jagged Feathers ~ Book Two of The White Rune Series ~ #Military Romance @JanSikes3

Jaye and Anita have left an amazing review for Jagged Feathers! I am truly honored!
And guess what! The price is now reduced, so if you haven’t bought it, now’s a great time!
Thank you, Jaye and Anita!!

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic could bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive but find unexpected love along the way? Or will evil forces win and destroy them both?

Our Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Ghostly Interference

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#MondayMotivation – #Meditation – #RuneOracleCard

I love the quote from John Steinbeck this week. And the theme seems to be one of concentration and steadily working. I don’t know about you, but I have at least five to six things I am juggling at the same time and often have to fight the urge to jump from task to task.

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I found this meditation to be energizing and uplifting. It is a great way to put all your chores in perspective and focus.

I was drawn back to my new Rune oracle cards for this week’s inspiration, and it is very fitting.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The keyword associated with this Rune is concentration. Sowelo is aligned with charisma and driving energy.

Everything can be achieved as long as you use the right tools and your awareness.

This card invites us to channel our forces and funnel them toward a single goal. Mind and heart must become allies because within their union lies true power. The card furthermore symbolizes a lucky moment. Now that events are favorable, we must not rest on our laurels but act with all our concentration.

The power of this rune helps to shed light on our wishes and focus our goals.

My Takeaway:

I loved the idea of the mind and heart becoming allies. There is great power in concentrated focus that ultimately leads to a single goal. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the juggling act. This is a fabulous reminder.

I keep being amazed by the gorgeous Dragon cards. This one goes with the theme for the week.

Black Dragon From Saturn.
Brings you wisdom through spiritual discipline. Concentrate. Focus on your ultimate vision. Congratulate yourself - you have passed a test!

That’s it for this week. Keep your focus and stay steady!

The Time Traveling Matchmaker #Review @Janie_Emaus @WildRosePress #NetGalley

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

PURCHASE LINK

The book cover was the first thing that attracted me to this story. Then the blurb sucked me in. Also, Janie Emaus is a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and I love supporting others.

This book is different from anything I’ve ever read. I loved the story concept of an organization whose purpose is to bring soulmates together, even if it involves traveling backward or forward in time.

I’ll admit it took me a few chapters to really get invested in the story. The pace starts slow but steady. However, around the mid-mark, things pick up and shift into high gear.

Jessica Singleton isn’t looking for love. In fact, quite the opposite. She’s recovering from a bad breakup and sworn off men. She’s putting all her energy into writing screenplays and working in a coffee shop.

That is until a mysterious stranger shows up with a shimmering trenchcoat and a disturbing disappearing act. Of course, she has no idea what to make of the strange events that occur whenever the stranger is around. And she has no idea she’s been chosen to be a soulmate for an unknown man named Frank.

But the tables turn when sparks fly between Jessica and the time-traveling matchmaker, Renn. Once it becomes obvious that a mistake has been made and Renn and Jessica are the true soulmates, the entire organization and the greed and corruption that’s spawned begin to unravel.

There are so many great scenes once Jessica discovers Renn is from another space in time. Then there’s a tie-in with Jessica’s deceased mother and her father, who is still alive.

If you like a romance where sparks do more than fly, with a different sort of twist, you’ll enjoy this book from Janie Emaus.

I rated this book 3.5 stars and rounded it up to 4 for Amazon and Goodreads.

#MondayMotivation – #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonOracleCard

I have missed my regular Monday posts. July was a whirlwind month with two trips AND finding my new book up on Amazon for pre-order. I look forward to some routine weeks ahead and back to working on my WIP, which has been sadly neglected.

I’m not a worrier. I think I got that from my mom. I’ve heard her say a hundred times, “I’m not going to worry about it. If I can fix a problem, I will, and if I can’t, then I won’t worry about it.”

That’s not to say if you are a worrier, you are wrong. Worry has its place and can be a good motivator. From that, the theme this week is letting go of things you cannot change.

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Here’s a short but beautiful meditation to help let go.

I returned to the tarot cards this week for guidance for the week ahead. Here’s what I got.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The Knight of Swords is all action. He is ambitious, action-oriented, driven to succeed, and fast-thinking. I could use some of that energy about now. You are so highly motivated to succeed that you will stop at nothing to pursue your dreams. The challenges, difficulties and obstacles on the path ahead don’t faze you because you know where you want to go. Move forward with sheer strength and determination to make things happen. The downside of the fast-thinking, quick-acting Knight of Swords is that sometimes you act too quickly and haven’t thoroughly thought things through. 

The Three of Swords can represent a deep hurt or disappointment. Following on the heels of the reckless knight, it is an admonition to slow down and look at where you are going to avoid any loss or setback. It may also represent an emotional release. Maybe you’ve held something pent up for a while. This is a go-sign to let it all out. The good news is that because it is a low number (3), this is a short-lived setback. And you will come out on the other side stronger and wiser.

The Magician card is self-explanatory. When you think of a Magician, you often think of the tools he uses to create his illusion. In this same sense, we have all the tools we need to create a profound magic in our lives.  Seriously, everything you need right now is at your fingertips. You have the spiritual (fire), physical (earth), mental (air) and emotional (water) resources to manifest your desires. And when you combine them with the energy of the spiritual and earthly realms, you will become a manifestation powerhouse! The key is to bring these tools together synergistically so that the impact of what you create is greater than the separate parts. This is alchemy at its best!

MY TAKEAWAY:

You may feel inspired, fired-up to take action right now as the ideas are coming fast and furious. But you are warned to slow down, take a realistic look and then go create your own magic!

The Dragon Card today is so inspiring to me! It goes hand-in-hand with the Knight of Swords.

Fire and Water Dragon. Enables your life to flow with loving force. Prepare for change and to move forward quickly. Expect the unexpected. Have fun!

The Family Game #NewRelease @CatSteadman #NetGalley #Thiller

I received this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

Purchase Link

MY REVIEW:

A darkly twisted story that became almost too believable!
The story begins as a tender love story. Harriet Reed is a writer. And she has fallen in love with not only a devastatingly handsome man but one who is also from one of the wealthiest families in America.
The Holbecks are mega-wealthy But Harriet or Harry, as she is affectionately called has no idea at first. Edward Holbeck is estranged from his family.
That’s just the beginning. As their relationship grows, he slips a ring on her finger. And not just any ring, but his great-grandmother’s wedding ring. This is where things start to change.
Now, although she is terrified she wants to meet his family. After all, how bad could they be? As an orphan, she longs for a big family. But Edward warns that they are ‘different.’
Still, Harriet is ready to meet them.
She is ill-prepared for the luxurious wealth they possess. And even more ill-prepared when her future father-in-law asks for a private meeting with her in his study. He hands her a tape that will change her life, everyone’s lives. So many secrets!
Then she finds out the family plays games, and not the innocent kind of board games most families play. Their games are terrifying and eventually turn deadly.
The twist in this story left me reeling.
Told in first person through Harriet’s POV, it was easy to become immersed in the story. The author did a great job of scattering backstory in bits and pieces throughout so there was never a big info dump. As things unravel, I found myself glued to the book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I had to know the identity of the murderer and it was shocking! I could easily see this book as a movie. It’s a psychological thriller with an unexpected twist.

Paper Targets #NewRelease @atmospherepress @LoneStarLit

PAPER TARGETS

by Patricia Watts

Suspense / Literary Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Pages: 324 pages
Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Scroll down for a giveaway!

Everyone knew that Roanne never got angry­—until the night she killed her ex-husband and herself.

Roanne, a nice, suburban lady in her sixties who works at a Hallmark shop and volunteers at the Food Bank in Round Rock, Texas, calls her lifelong friend, Connie, confesses to murder, then puts the gun to her own head. Connie, spurred by Roanne’s last words about a lifetime of unspoken rage, sets aside her work as a cozy mystery writer and cupcake shop owner to confront the men who have stolen her dignity while she remained silent, including a bully brother, a rapist, and an ex-spouse.

On a journey to reclaim her inner power and to make peace with the loss of her treasured friend, Connie’s mission is to avoid the same tragic path as Roanne, but she takes along a gun, just in case.

With pathos and humor, Paper Targets, by Patricia Watts, calls us to speak our own narratives, even when it is uncomfortable or risky, and shows us the magnificence of a friendship that transcends time.

CLICK TO PURCHASE!

| Amazon | Author’s Website | Barnes & Noble |



Patricia Watts worked as a journalist for more than 20 years for newspapers in Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska. Following her news career, she tried her skill as a paralegal and then spent ten years investigating discrimination cases for the Alaska Human Rights Commission. Her novels include: Ghost Light and The Big Empty, crime mysteries co-written with Alaska author Stan Jones; The Frayer, suspense noir; and Watchdogs, a steamy thriller. Her home base is San Diego. She earned her B.A. in journalism at Humboldt State in California. She is the mother of a son and daughter and has eight grandchildren.

| Website | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | Reedsy Discovery |

Back Home AND Good News!!

Hello, blogger friends!

I had a fabulous time in New Orleans. It was fast and furious. We crammed a lot into two days.

Despite the crazy atmosphere, I love the food, the music, the architecture, and the history. Every time I go, I learn something new about this city. Did you know it was settled by prisoners sent over from France so they could empty out their prisons? I didn’t know that tidbit of history until on a carriage tour during this visit. New Orleans was instrumental in the fight for freedom. And, was where the notorious pirate, Jean Lafitte, spent a good deal of time. One of my favorite places to visit is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, built in 1732. It has survived floods, hurricanes, and progress. And they only installed electric lighting within the past few years. Before that, it had gas lights.

LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans, La. 2022

I’ll share just a few more photos.

Had to laugh at this one. The reader didn’t know how to spell Tarot.
The Vampire thing was new this time. It had never been a focus before.

And now for the NEWS!!

Saddled Hearts is available for preorder! The release date is October 19th! I am SUPER excited about this story and can’t wait to share it!

Pre-Order Link

BLURB:

Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why? 

He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?

Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.

The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.

For your viewing pleasure!