#MotivationMonday #Meditation #RuneReading #DragonoracleCard

Happy Monday! I don’t know about the weather where everyone is, but here in Texas, it’s triple digits this week. Very early for those kinds of temps. Here’s today’s inspiring quote. I love it!

inspiringquotes.com

Today’s meditation is effective and short. Enjoy!

I found myself drawn back to the Runes for this week’s reading. Here’s what I got.

Photo by Jan Sikes

Jera, in the first position, is the rune of harvest. It signifies that each season has a purpose, so it reminds us that attainment of goals often takes time. A seed planted in the spring must be given time to grow. And it can only be harvested at the proper time. Jera indicates that your efforts will be successful. If you have been dealing with adversity and obstacles, Jera is a welcome sign that troubles are receding. (Always good news, right?) In addition, Jera symbolizes the union of opposites, such as dawn and dusk and the liminal timelines between seasons. You are advised to acknowledge any adversity you are or have been experiencing will ultimately contribute to your growth. You are who you are because of the lessons life has taught you.

Hagalaz in the second position can indicate temporary delays that are beyond your control, such as the forces of nature or other circumstances that you cannot change. A good example that is relatable in the present day is computer issues. And with Mercury in retrograde, it is not uncommon for electronics to fail or to “act up.” However, these are temporary, and eventually, everything gets ironed out.

In the third position, Elhaz is the rune of defense and protection. It indicates you are safe from danger and have no need to fear. However, you are warned not to take this protection for granted. We still must do our due diligence and remain alert, clear-minded, and in touch with our intuition. By listening to our higher guidance, we will know which moves to make to stay out of harm’s way. Additionally, Elhaz may refer to an upcoming opportunity or quest. Usually, this involves one or more other people. As long as your intuition agrees, you are encouraged to go for it.

MY TAKEAWAY:

If you have been dealing with adversity or obstacles, take comfort in knowing the situation is indeed temporary and you are protected.

On a personal note, I have certainly been dealing with several issues that could be considered adversity or obstacles. When I made my trip to Missouri, I booked hotels through Travelocity. It seemed an easy way to do it all. However, when we arrived in Oklahoma the first night, the motel I had booked at said they had no rooms. Long story short, they charged me for the room, and I am fighting for a refund. This reading encourages me that it will come to a satisfactory conclusion. Lesson learned. Never book through a third party! I am involved in another difficult situation beyond my control. My publisher experienced a devastating hack of their website a few weeks ago, and email communication has been down since the hack. I am hoping for a resolution to that one as well.

Your turn!

I am thinking I may have drawn this Dragon Card before, but if so, it has turned up again. It’s gorgeous!!

Stay Awake – Book Review @megangoldin #psychologicalthriller

This book was offered via NetGalley and Canelo Crime in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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Liv Reese has a rare and complex form of amnesia. Every time she goes to sleep, she wakes up, remembering absolutely nothing from the past two years. So, her solution is never to sleep. She drinks highly caffeinated drinks, espresso, energy drinks, and takes over-the-counter pills to stay awake. Despite all her efforts, occasionally, she falls asleep. Sometimes on a bus, sometimes on a park bench. She awakens to the same confusion and memory loss over and over again.

Except now, there is a murder with all the evidence pointing to her as the perpetrator. Liv has no memory of the person she wakes up next to, who is now dead. Yet, the fact that it is her ex-fiance gives detectives Halliday and Lavelle more reason to believe Liv has killed Ted Cole. I loved the depth of character the author exposed with both of these detectives. It was an interesting sub-plot.

The storyline drew me in from the first. However, I was confused at times, as the timeline went back and forth between present-day and two years prior when Liv Reese’s life as she’d known it came to a brutal and terrifying end. Once I got accustomed to the author’s technique of telling the whole story, it got easier to keep up, although I have to admit there were still some confusing scenes. For instance, when Liv wakes up in a dingy, rundown apartment with only a mattress on the floor for a bed, walls covered with writing, and the floor littered with empty caffeine drink containers, I had no idea how she rented or why and that part was never explained.

The most fascinating part of the story was the way Liv’s brain struggled, holding on to the trauma that created this type of amnesia for her. “Stay awake,” was a phrase she mumbled to herself over and over. She wrote it on her hand, so she would see it. She also wrote lots of other words on her hand, like “Don’t Trust the cops,” and “Don’t open the door.”

The way it came together in a climactic ending explained everything, the trauma that sent her brain into this Groundhog Day syndrome, the phrase “stay awake,” the obsession with a fleur de lise pattern, writing on her hands and arms—All of it made sense.

While I struggled with parts of the book, I gave it four stars. What a twisted tale!

Outlaw West of the Pecos – #NewRelease from Preston Lewis @LoneStarLit

OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
by
PRESTON LEWIS
Western / Humor / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing

Date of Publication: January 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 228 pages 
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Accused of cheating at cards on a Southern Pacific passenger train in far West Texas, H.H. Lomax is kicked off the train and finds himself at the mercy of the unpredictable justice of Judge Roy Bean, who calls himself “Law West of the Pecos.” After being fined of all his money, married, and divorced by the judge in a matter of minutes, Lomax discovers an unlikely connection to him.

Against a backdrop of a pending world heavyweight championship bout, Lomax heads to El Paso to interest someone in writing and publishing Bean’s biography. He winds up in an El Paso boarding house across the hall from Texas killer John Wesley Hardin. They despise each other, but Hardin fears Lomax’s straight-arrow Texas Ranger brother and treads lightly around Lomax. Because of Hardin’s crooked connections in El Paso, Lomax gets caught between him and corrupt constable John Selman.

El Paso is becoming the focal point of efforts to host a championship prizefight that everyone from the Presidents of the United States and Mexico to the governors of Texas, New Mexico Territory and Chihuahua have vowed to stop. Calling on his connections to his Ranger brother, El Paso officials and the promoter of the boxing match, Lomax uses his Judge Roy Bean friendship to pull off the oddest prizefight in heavyweight history.

Outlaw West of the Pecos stands as an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.
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Amazon
Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 40 westerns, historical novels, juvenile books and memoirs. He has received national awards for his novels, articles, short stories, and humor.
In 2021 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary accomplishments. Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association.
His historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution earned a Spur Award as did his True West article on the Battle of Yellow House Canyon. He developed the Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series, which includes two Spur finalists and a Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for western humor for his novel Bluster’s Last Stand on the battle of Little Big Horn. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin and two of his YA novels have won Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
He began his writing career working for Texas daily newspapers in Abilene, Waco, Orange and Lubbock before going into university administration. During his 35-year career in higher education, he directed communications and marketing offices at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He lives in San Angelo with his wife, Harriet.
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Younger Self Advice and Top Ten Things

I have been blessed with two fabulous opportunities this week. First, the amazing Sally Cronin invited me to share a post based on the theme of ‘wishing I knew then what I know now.’

To me, it was what I would like to say to my younger self if I could go back in time. Not that my younger self would’ve listened, but fun to consider.

So, here it is. I’d love for you to visit, share and leave a comment.

Then, Marcia Meara extended an invitation to share ten things people may not know about me. Those are always fun to think about and list. Some of them may surprise you. Some may not.

https://marciamearawrites.com/2022/05/11/tenthingsyoumaynotknow-about-jansikes/

Please take a minute to visit these two posts. I am most grateful to both ladies for the wonderful invitations.

Oh, and while you’re over there, take a look at the fabulous books they’ve both written!

#MondayMotivation #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonOracle Card

Happy Monday! I’m glad to be back with my regular post.

Courtesy Inspiring Quotes

Interesting Tarot cards this week.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The Ace of Swords represents new ideas. It is a sign of encouragement. It says your mind is in ‘expansion mode.’ You are open to embracing new ideas, craving stimulation, and you’ll jump at the next opportunity to learn something new. When the Ace of Swords appears in a Tarot reading, it tells you that now is an excellent time to start a new project – one that requires your intellect, communication skills, and mental power.

The Five of Wands indicates that you are in the midst of battle, tension, and competition with others, and it is impacting your ability to move forward with your goals. Rather than being able to work towards a common goal, you are running up against constant opposition. With the Five of Wands, everyone is fighting to be heard. But guess what? No one is listening. When everybody has a different opinion, but no one is stopping to hear each other out, conflict and misunderstandings will run rampant. If you find yourself in this situation, see it as an opportunity to rise above the chaos and disorder. The Five of Wands also encourages diversity and differences of opinion, and encourages an enthusiastic approach to change.

The appearance of the King of Wands suggests that an opportunity is presenting itself to you, and you now have the power to take on the challenge. You are the determining factor in this situation. If you want it to be successful, it will. And equally, if you do not fully commit to it, this seed will struggle to blossom and grow. You can create any outcome you wish, so be mindful about your intentions and vision. You hold the power. You achieve a lot because you are clear about your future direction and how you will get there – and do not waste your time on activities or relationships you believe will lead nowhere.

MY TAKEAWAY:

It’s always exciting to get inspired with a new idea or begin a new project, especially one that requires communication skills, but be careful and stay mindful of listening to others who may have input into the situation. You are the deciding factor in the outcome. But isn’t that always true in life? We create our realities.

Now for the Dragon Card. This one goes perfectly with the quote from Oprah as well as the tarot reading.

Have a GREAT week! Here’s to creativity, to staying positive and inspired!

#NewRelease! Turn To Me – Becky Wade @beckywadewriter @lonestarlit

It is my pleasure to introduce this fellow Texan author to you. I have not yet read this book, but it’s on my list for sure! Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter!

TURN TO ME
A Misty River Romance
by
BECKY WADE
 
Contemporary Romance / Christian Fiction / Clean & Wholesome
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Number of Pages: 416 pages 
 
Scroll down for Giveaway!
 
 
His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.
 
Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.
 
Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.
 
As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?
 
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Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. Her humorous, heart-pounding contemporary romance novels have won three Christy Awards, the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award for Romance. Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.
 
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April #BookReviews @linneatanner @teagangeneviene @RobertaEaton17 @harmony_kent @ColleenChesebro @Marjorie_Mallon @mhurdle112

Most of my book reviews for April have either been for Lone Star Literary Blog Tours or NetGalley, and already posted, but I do have three more to add.

Courtesy Pixabay

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MY REVIEW:

This is a well-written short story incorporating ancient Roman history with fiction. The author did a great job of writing a fictitious account of what could have actually happened. The story begins when two young aristocrats are contemplating their futures. Lucius Antonius is sure of a high-ranking position under Augustus Caeser.
To his surprise, when he is summoned to meet with Augustus, he finds himself forced into a position of either forsaking his family or facing sure death. The father of young Lucius is accused of being a traitor and Augustus issues the order that Lucius must assist in his father’s forced suicide.
The young man is torn between his love for his father and fear of Augustus if he doesn’t obey.
I enjoyed the bit of romance between Lucius and his slave, Brigata. The story shows the great contrast between slaves and noblemen and the big lesson Lucius learns.
While my heart broke for all the injustice being doled out by Caesar, I enjoyed the growth in Lucius as he had to make hard choices. The story depicts the time period perfectly.

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MY REVIEW:

This thirteenth segment of the Dead of Winter series is heart-stopping! Battles are raging. Arawan has amassed a huge army of the dead and the fingers of grayness are creeping closer and closer to Pergesca. But Goddesses are appearing in this part of the story and it leaves me hopeful that together with their combined powers, they might defeat the king of the nightwalkers. Coventina was introduced in this part of the story and although tiny, she is mighty and fierce. Emlyn’s confidence in her own abilities is growing by leaps and bounds. She is experimenting with different pieces of magic and is surprising herself when the results are astounding. Then the goddess Deae Matres embeds the emblem of the society of the Deae Matres, the five-petal flower, into Emlyn’s skin. That makes her the youngest ever to bear the mark of the society.
We see in this segment of the story just how deeply attached Emlyn has become to all of her friends. She cannot bear the thought of losing any of them in the fierce battle.
Then we get to see Thyrus, The Listener show back up in the form of a dragon. Emlyn’s affection for him is touching. The battles rage and Emlyn is in grave danger when the story comes to an end. I cannot wait for the conclusion!

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MY REVIEW:

Poetry Treasures is an apt title for this unique collection and collaboration of poetry. It is an eclectic and talented group of poets who have come together to contribute to this anthology, and while writing styles are different, each poem is to be savored. Reading this collection also gave me the opportunity to meet some new authors, such as Elizabeth Merry, Jules Paige, and D. Avery. At the same time, I enjoyed poems from authors that I know and follow, Robbie Cheadle, Colleen Cheseboro, Miriam Hurdle, M.J. Mallon, and Harmony Kent. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. Each poem deals with relationships in some way, as that is the overarching theme.

M.J. Mallon’s poem, “No Holidays for Writers,” struck a chord with me. Here’s one small example, “Goading, grinning, “Edits to do!” My evil editor winks. Tormenting me…with spelling games confuse and contest…”
Then there’s this one from Lynda McKinney Lambert. “I heard the roar of Harley Thunder. The warrior in black leathers returned home.”
I loved all of the poems. So, if you want something with variety and are a lover of deeply expressed poetry, this would be a great book for you!

That’s it for me for April. If you missed any of my other reviews for the month, here you go.

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/21/bookreview-the-catch-heartofafrica-bookblogtour-lonestarlit/

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/09/bookreview-summer-nights-with-a-cowboy-_caitlincrews-netgalley/

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/08/the-bones-of-amoret-newrelease-herbertwriter-lonestarlit/

Traveling #research #Missouri

Sorry, folks. This post was supposed to have gone up on Thursday. It’s just one of the travel debacles. 🙂 Also, comments are closed.

Greetings, everyone. I am leaving Dallas tonight to head to Missouri, so will be out of pocket for a few days.

I have a two-fold purpose for going. #1 is to do some much-needed research for the new book I am writing, “A Beggar’s Bargain.” It is set near Everton, Mo in 1947. The Dade County Library has been most helpful with gathering up newspapers and other articles from that time period.

Then my author friend, Judy Lowe, and I will give a talk at the Dade County Senior Center tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we sell a few books.

After that, it’s on to Branson for a couple of days of relaxation and fun! We are taking in a show at the Sight & Sound Theater and have booked a dinner cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle.

There will be no regular Monday post.

I will catch up with everyone when I return! Have a great weekend.

#MotivationMonday – #Meditation #Rune #DragonCard

Happy Monday! This is the last week of April. Is it just me, or are the days flying by faster? Here’s the thought for the week.

Courtesy of Inspiring Quotes

The meditation I chose to share today is positive affirmations. We so often fall victims to negative self-talk and then wonder why we draw negative to ourselves. The best way to turn that around is to change the negative to positive and watch miracles happen!

I chose to draw one Rune for this week.

Photo by Jan Sikes

Raidho is the rune of travel, representing the physical wheel of a wagon. This rune indicates you are setting off on a journey, whether in the external world or on an emotional or spiritual level.

If your travel is physical, Raidho signals a pleasant experience with few or no mishaps. If you are going on a spiritual quest, the going may require significant flexibility on your part, but the rewards of reaching your destination will be well worth it, as you are following your soul’s chosen path. Either way, you are advised to keep your focus on the experience of the journey itself, rather than on your arrival. This is because Raidho signifies not just the vehicle you ride in, but the road you travel on. You will be best served by making the most of every moment along the way.

A related interpretation of Raidho is “reunion”—specifically the return of old friends in your life or even the arrival of new people with whom you’ve made a soul agreement before incarnating into this life.

Some runic systems also view Raidho as an indicator that now is a good time for negotiations or deliberations related to agreements with others.

Finally, sometimes Raidho is simply a reminder to align yourself with the “wheel of life.” Know that life has ups and downs, ebb and flow, and constant seasonal change. The contrast between opposites is part of the journey of life.

My Takeaway: If you are planning a physical journey, expect easy sailing and enjoyment. If you are taking a spiritual journey, know that you will need to be open and flexible but the rewards will be worth the effort.

Drawing this rune affected me deeply on a personal level as I am embarking on a journey to Missouri on Thursday evening to indulge in some research for my new book. Taking a side trip to Branson will bring some fun and enjoyment into it as well. I know I should never be surprised by a rune or card, but still, I often gasp in amazement!

Here’s another beautiful dragon card to share with you.

#BookReview – The Catch @heartofafrica #BookBlogTour @LoneStarLit

I am super excited to share a review for a book I received compliments of NetGalley and Revell Publishing. And on top of that this book is on tour with Literary Life!

THE CATCH

U.S. Marshals Series #3
by
LISA HARRIS
Fiction / Christian / Mystery / Suspense / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: April 5, 2022
Number of Pages: 352 pages 
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Everything hidden is eventually found
After a harrowing attempt on a judge’s life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge’s wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is not who they think she is.
Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the people who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.
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Lisa Harris is a USA Today bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than forty books, including The Escape, The Chase, The Traitor’s Pawn, Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, as well as The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent over 17 years living as missionaries in southern Africa and currently are living there.
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