Welcome to the #RRBC “ROCKIN’ 2020 AWAY” BOOK, BLOG AND TRAILER Block Party! @jansikes3 #Giveaways

Hi, and welcome to my stop on the “Rockin 2020 Away” Book, Blog & Trailer Block Party presented by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS! PTL Perrin, Flossie Benton Rogers, Balroop Singh, Karen Black, Sam Polakoff  & Bette Stevens

WHAT I’M GIVING AWAY!

TWO $10 AMAZON GIFT CARDS

TWO COPIES OF MY NEW SHORT STORY “BRAZOS WIND”

TWO COPIES OF MY NEW SHORT STORY AND THE 2020 GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF THE #RRBC 90-DAY ALPHA/OMEGA BEGINNING TO END SHORT STORY CONTEST

“BROTHER’S KEEPER”

NUMBER OF WINNERS AT THIS STOP – SIX (6)

At the end of the tour, there will also be GRAND PRIZES awarded, as well!

*1st/Grand Prize:  $50 Amazon Gift Card 

*2nd/Grand Prize:  3-day Blog Tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing

*3rd/Grand Prize:  Book Bundle {10 books of your choice from the Kathryn C. Treat Book Giveaway Treasure Chest}

*4th/Grand Prize:  A *LIVE* interview on an upcoming segment of a RAVE WAVES “EYES ON THE BOOK” or a BOOK OF THE MONTH slot.

Today, I want to talk about my two new short stories, “Brazos Wind” and “Brother’s Keeper.”

I am so honored that “Brother’s Keeper” won #RRBC 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story Contest! And, because I have won the Grand Prize three years running, Nonnie has given the contest my name! Wow!

Story inspirations can come from anywhere and “Brother’s Keeper” came from a conversation with a family member. And while the circumstances depicted in this story are pure fiction, the seed was planted by a simple statement. I truly think that is what makes writers and artists different. My late husband used to talk about painting and how you don’t just see an object that you’re painting, you look into and beyond it. That never made any sense to me until I started writing my stories. Now, all these years later, I understand.

The main character, Quentin Marks, really came alive for me. He made an ultimate sacrifice for his younger brother.

Here’s the blurb:

Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?

AND, you guys get the premier viewing of the brand new book trailer for “Brother’s Keeper!” This was so much fun to make and my first time to experiment with video clips. Honest feedback welcome and appreciated!

The inspiration for “Brazos Wind” came from a song by the same title written by Texas singer/songer, Phil Hamilton. I had never attempted to write a western, but found that it came easily. I had no trouble putting myself back in the 1800s time period to write about Jack McClean and Savannah Logan.

Here is the blurb:

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

I hope that this has piqued your interest enough to head over to Amazon and grab your copies! Click on the book titles anywhere in this blog and it will take you to Amazon! Or you can go to my Amazon Author Page.

I’d love it if you’d subscribe to my blog while you are here!

And, in case you don’t already know, here are all of my published books so far. 🙂

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! Follow along on the RRBC Site!

If you’re not doing so already, I’d be grateful if you’d follow me on Social Media:

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News Flash!! – Brother’s Keeper Wins! @RRBC_Org

I was SUPER excited to wake up this morning and find that “Brother’s Keeper” took the Grand Prize in the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning To End Short Story Contest!! I am SO proud of this story!

The inspiration for it came from a conversation with a family member. 🙂 You never know where they will come. As most of you know, my husband served fifteen years in a federal prison for a crime he did not commit. And, in a conversation with one of his cousins, she made the statement that she thought my husband’s little brother was involved in the crime, and that my husband took the fall for him. While that was not the case, it certainly inspired a story!

Excerpt:

Quentin Marks covered the length of the eight-by-ten jail cell stopping now and then to punch the concrete walls that held him.

A mere forty-eight hours ago, he was resting comfortably at home ― before his brother’s frantic visit.

He replayed the conversation in his head for the hundredth time.

Rowdy Marks had pounded Quentin’s door with desperate blows. “Open the door, Quen!”

When Quentin had opened the door, his brother rushed inside in full-blown panic mode.

“What the hell, Rowdy? What have you done now?” Quentin had questioned.

“You gotta help me, man.” Rowdy grabbed him by the shoulders.

The pungent odor of whiskey and cigarettes assaulted Quentin’s nostrils. “You’re drunk, Rowdy. Go home and sleep it off.”

“No! You don’t understand. I’m in big trouble.”

“Since when is that news?” Quentin snorted.

“It’s serious this time. A man is dead.”

Quentin stopped in his tracks. “Shit, Rowdy! What did you do?”

“Pour me a drink, and I’ll tell you everything,” Rowdy whined.

“Another drink’s the last thing you need,” Quentin snarled. “Start talking.”

Have you picked up your copy yet? It’s only 99 cents on Amazon!

PURCHASE LINK:

New Short Story Releases! #RRBC

Once again, it’s that time of the year when the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB sponsors the 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning To End Short Story Contest!

I have discovered that I truly love writing short stories. So, I look forward to this contest every year as it gives me the push I need to keep creating. This time I wrote a Western and that is a first for me. I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely.

BLURB:

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON

The second story I wrote for this contest came from a conversation with a family member that left me scratching my head. Two brothers – one responsible, the other not so much and family dynamics that twisted my heart as I wrote it.

BLURB:

Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON

I hope that these stories grab your attention! They are both only 99 cents on Amazon. Keep your fingers crossed that maybe one of these stories will win the contest! 🙂

If you’re not following me on social media, please take a minute to connect! Thank you for your awesome support!

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My Short Stories Won!! #RRBC

I am truly speechless! To have TWO of my short stories as 1st and 2nd place winners in this International short story contest is beyond my belief!! I am honored and humbled!

These two stories are available on Amazon for only 99 cents!

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?
Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

At the tender age of fourteen, Jennifer shoulders the full responsibility of running a household and caring for her seven-year-old sister. It’s bad enough that their father is lost at war in Afghanistan, but troubles multiply when their so-called mother abandons them for another man. Hardships and struggles are constant companions. Family is whatever Jennifer can make it. That’s the way the cards have been dealt, and that’s the way she’ll play them.
This strong young girl meets every obstacle head-on, while never losing hope for a better tomorrow.

I’d be thrilled and honored if you’d pick them up today!! You can see all of my books on my Amazon Author Page!

I want to give a HUGE “Thank You” to those who have already purchased, read and reviewed these stories!

But most of all, Thank You to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and Nonnie Jules for providing opportunities such as this contest! And to the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA) because it inspires and pushes me to be a better writer!

A New WIN!

I am super excited that my entry, “Magic,” won in this short story contest sponsored by D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Texas, Inc.!

Volume V of short stories from Texas authors is available for pre-order!

Here is a snippet from my story:

A loud whinny cut through the cold Montana air, followed by a snort and a hoof pawing on the wood.

Frank cursed and eased the front door open two inches. He peered out with one eye. A saddled brown pony with no rider stamped his foot and nickered.

“Who’s out there?” Frank yelled again.

The horse tossed his head and let out a long whinny.

Frank swung the door open wide and stepped out into the waning daylight, gun cocked and aimed.

The horse backed off the porch and continued to toss his head and nicker.

When Frank saw no one, he stepped off the porch and grabbed the horse’s trailing reins. “Whoa. Good boy.” He patted the horse’s thick neck.

“Where’s your rider?”

The horse tried to pull away and reared up on his hind legs.

“Whoa, boy. Whoa.” Frank kept a tight grip on the leather.

The horse jerked against Frank’s hold and whinnied.

“You’re trying to tell me something, aren’t you, boy?” His gut told him someone was in trouble. “All right. I’ll go with you, you stubborn horse. First I’ve got to get my coat and gloves.”

I hope that snippet intrigues you enough to want to know more about Frank and this horse that can almost talk!

Purchase Link

This collection of stories is available exclusively through the Indie Lector Store and $2.00 from each purchase goes to help put books in Title One Schools and small libraries.

For some of you who have asked, the national organization, Authors Marketing Guild is up and running! The mission of this organization is to educate authors on effective ways to market their work as well as set up events and programs to help authors find new readers!

Curious to know more? Take a look here!

AND, one more thing…(Yes, you can call me Colombo!) 🙂

Not only will my winning short story be featured in Vol V of Short Stories by Texas Authors, but will also be included in a national publication, entitled Short Stories by Indie Authors!

This book is available in ePub and Kindle formats.

Thanks for stopping by!!

NEW RELEASES – SHORT STORIES #RRBC

I am SO excited to release three new short stories as a result of the 2019 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story Contest at #RRBC!

I love how this contest pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets my creative juices flowing!

I’ll list the three short stories in no particular order. I sincerely hope that at least one will pique your interest!

BLURB:

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?

Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

PURCHASE LINK:

BLURB:

At the tender age of fourteen, Jennifer shoulders the full responsibility of running a household and caring for her seven-year-old sister. It’s bad enough that their father is lost at war in Afghanistan, but troubles multiply when their so-called mother abandons them for another man. Hardships and struggles are constant companions. Family is whatever Jennifer can make it. That’s the way the cards have been dealt, and that’s the way she’ll play them.

This strong young girl meets every obstacle head-on, while never losing hope for a better tomorrow.

PURCHASE LINK:

BLURB:

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

PURCHASE LINK:

I enjoyed writing these vastly different stories and I hope you enjoy reading them!

Mountain Laurel – Segment 6

As we closed out our segment last week, Andy Roberts had a vision and a visit from his father telling him to get his ass back in the fancy car and go make some music. But, he’s also leaving the cabin with a priceless bit of information about his brother, Timmy. Let’s see what he does next.

###

I pulled into a truck stop not far down the road.

truck stop

With a steaming cup of coffee in hand, I fished the yellowed paper out of my pocket, located a pay phone and dialed the number on the letterhead.

Pay Phone

“It’s a great morning here at the Blackmon Children’s Home,” a cheerful voice greeted me.

After I finished explaining who I was, I heard excitement on the other end of the line. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you called. We thought Timmy’s family was dead. He’s just about to turn eighteen, you know. He had an obsessive fascination with the banjo when he first came to stay with us, so we taught him to play. You should hear him. He’s nothing short of genius.”

I choked back tears and promised to be there within two hours. I told the kind lady I would be taking my brother home with me as soon as paperwork could be processed.

Just before I turned onto the highway, I rolled down the window, hung my head out and shouted, “I love you, Papa. Keep watching because I’m going to get this right!”

I thought about the fragrant blooming tree in front of the cabin and how Mama’s eyes shone the day Papa planted it. I began to write.

She is like a Mountain Laurel

A breath of pure fresh air

Her hair the scent of floral

Her eyes so bright and fair…

   THE END

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this short story. It won first place in a short story contest sponsored by the Texas Associaton of Authors in 2016.

It is part of a printed and eBook, “Short Stories By Texas Authors Vol 2.”

Tx_Shorts_Vol_2

If you’d like more information about The Texas Association of Authors visit the WEBSITE.

For more on this short story contest for 2019, click HERE