Hi! And welcome to the Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at Writing and Music coming to you from Plano, Texas.
Here is what I am giving away today!
One $5.00 Amazon Gift Card
One $10.00 iTunes Gift Card
One ebook of FLOWERS AND STONE
One ebook of THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE
WINNERS FOR THIS STOP – 4
I have published five books in the past four years. Four of those five have won book competition awards..
When I began this crazy journey by writing Flowers and Stone, I had no idea that it would take four books to tell the entire story. I also had no idea all I would learn along the way. But, I knew I had a story that begged to be told.
I started out by writing in first person. It became glaringly obvious that I couldn’t tell the story this way. When a close friend mentioned that I should consider telling it through fictitious characters, a light clicked on. That was the perfect solution for me. So, I chose to tell the story through Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. In doing this, I was able to separate myself from a deeply personal story and tell it through their eyes.
Here are the top FIVE things I’ve learned over the past four years:
- DO NOT forego professional editing! That is number one and the most important. It doesn’t matter how wonderful and talented you are at writing, you cannot edit your own work successfully.
- Spend a good deal of time and thought about your cover. People really do judge a book by its cover.
- Write your blurb. Then delete it and write it again. Cut out extra words and tweak it until you are saying precisely what will sell the reader on your book in the fewest amount of words possible.
- Get ready to market! I have never been a salesman, so marketing does not come naturally for me. But, through marketing conferences and trial and error, I have found that basically marketing consists of FOUR things: Visibility, Consistency, Honesty (honesty about yourself and about your books) and Networking.
- Keep writing! Don’t think that because you’ve written and published one book you can sit back and reap the rewards. If you have a true passion for telling stories, you must keep writing. There are millions of books out there, but here’s something I want you to take to heart: NO ONE WRITES LIKE YOU! We are all unique and individual.
Here’s a little about each of my books:
Flowers and Stone is set in the rowdy Texas honky-tonks in 1970. Link to BOOK TRAILER
One Reviewer wrote: “As I close this amazing book by Jan Sikes, my heart aches for the hand Luke and Darlina have been dealt. Flowers and Stone is an amazing, fast paced story of two people who against all odds have found a true and binding love. The love story they create with one another is heart-gripping, turbulent, and heartbreaking. This is a true story of two souls brought together, soulmates, who were given the chance of true love until society and the justice system decided, differently.”
The Convict and the Rose alternates between Leavenworth Prison and Texas. Link to BOOK TRAILER
A FIVE Star Review: “Luke struggles to adjust to life behind bars, going from a successful career as a musician to another number in the system. I thought this story might be bleak as a result, but it is far from depressing. Watching Luke cope to his new existence and rise above the situation made for riveting reading. And as Luke’s life unfolds, Darlina grows from a young, naïve girl to a stronger woman. Her journey has many ups and downs, strewn with doubts, hardships and new experiences. Through it all, she keeps in touch with Luke. And that’s what really resonated with me—the undying love these two hold for each other despite the separation they’re forced to endure.”
Home At Last is set in a small West Texas town. Link to BOOK TRAILER
A FIVE Star Review: “Although Luke’s transition back into civilian life wasn’t easy for him, Darlina, and their two girls, they never gave up believing in second chances and living life to the fullest through all their hard work and endeavors. Many heartaches, losses, and struggles met them head-on, but for Luke and Darlina there wasn’t any mountain to high for them to scale.”
‘Til Death Do Us Part concludes the series. Link to BOOK TRAILER
A FIVE STAR Review: “What a joy and what a sorrow. There is a gambit of emotions to be experienced in ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the concluding chapter in the Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone series. This story of love that knows no bounds will hold you captivated from being to end…Written from the heart, this is a book (and a series) that shouldn’t be missed. From hurdles to triumphs, it will make you believe in steadfast love. I had shivers about the owl hoots, especially at the end. I applaud the author for sharing her story with us and hope to see this series made into a movie someday.”
Discovery Breaths of life from a prison cell
This poetry and art book is unique in many different ways. First and foremost, it was written and compiled by Rick Sikes during the fifteen years he spent in prison. The original documents were typed on onion skin paper. Remember that? 😊 It covers all topics from the deep dark loneliness of prison to a crazy and perhaps twisted sense of humor. It was a means of maintaining sanity in an insane setting.
The other thing that makes this book unique is the artwork found inside. Rick called them pen and ink drawings, but the proper name for this type of art is Pointillism. It is comprised of thousands of tiny dots made with a simple ink pen. He later added color to the drawings. Because the originals were black and white, I currently have two editions of the poetry book. One is hard cover and full color and the other paperback and black and white. I am in the process of getting this beautiful book formatted for ebook and it will be available soon.
I would LOVE it if you would take a look at the BOOK TRAILER for this beautiful book!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a preview of my books.
This tour is brought to you by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB – a community of authors and readers who are constantly creating new ways to PROFILE, PROMOTE & PROPEL our members. You mean you haven’t joined yet? Well, you can…right here, right now, today!. You’ll not find another organization like this anywhere on the planet.
For a complete list of participants in the Block party, click HERE.
Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post. Good luck on winning my giveaways! I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!
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