#GuestDayTuesday – Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

 

Hi, Everybody! Today, I’d like you to help me welcome our special guest, Jan Sikes. Jan is sharing her latest release, Ghostly Interference, and I know this one is going to appeal to a lot of folks, myself included! (Just look at this great cover!)

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Take it away, Jan!

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Hi, Marcia! Thank you SO much for allowing me to borrow your blog platform to talk about my new book!

It is not unusual for authors to use some form of Astrology in their stories. In Ghostly Interference, Jag Peters had been raised by a mother who incorporated all sorts of metaphysical knowledge into his upbringing, Astrology being one of those things.

Jag is a Libra. That sun sign fit his character perfectly. Rena Jett is a Taurus.

At one point, Jag is compelled to try to track down any living relatives that Rena might have. She craves family and it has always just been her and her brother, Sam. Now that he is gone, she is completely alone.

But how can Jag get the information he needs from her? At the suggestion of his mother, he decides to use astrology as an ice-breaker and to learn more about Rena.

EXCERPT:

“Let’s play a game. When were you born?”

She shot him a look of panic. “Why do you want to know?”

“It’s how we play the game. I want to know you better.”

“I was born May 1, 1979.”

“I knew it! You’re a Taurus. I woulda’ bet money on it.”

“Is that bad?” Rena sucked on her bottom lip

“Oh goodness no. Taurus people are born under the sign of the bull. Most often they are stubborn, determined, practical and down to earth, but have an eye for beauty. And they are brave.” He kneaded the arch of her foot. “And you are the bravest warrior woman I’ve ever met.”

“Hmmm, I like that phrase. And I love what you are doing to my feet.”

He continued. “I was born right here in Cedar Springs. Where were you born?”

“My birth certificate says I was born in Austin. I don’t remember anything except being in foster homes.”

“What was your mother’s name?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t see as that has anything to do with us getting to know each other.”

“Call it curiosity. My mother’s name is Charlotte Grace Peters.”

“Marjorie Irene Jett is the name on my birth certificate.” She spat out the words like a bitter pill.

Jag rubbed her ankle and moved up her leg. “It’s okay, Rena. I was just curious, that’s all. Any other siblings besides Sam?”

“Not that I know of. It’s always been just me and Sam. I don’t think I like this game. Your turn.”

“Okay. One more question and then I’ll take a turn. What do you want to do with your life? I know your ambition isn’t to work at Meg’s diner forever. What does Rena Jett want?”

She paused a long minute. “I used to talk with Sam about what we’d be when we grew up. He said when he finished his tour in the military, he wanted to go to school and be a child psychologist. I think about it a lot. I never had his ambition, but I would like to do something to help kids stuck in situations like we were.”

“There are all sorts of things you could do. You could be a caseworker, but I can’t see you having the patience to put up with the bureaucracy.”

“That’s for damned sure. I’ve seen too much of the bullshit that goes on to ever play that game. I think I’d like to be a police woman.”

Jag let out a whistle. “That’s perfect for you, Rena. You’d make a great police woman and you could ride one of their Harleys.”

She grinned. “It’s just a thought. Your turn to play this game.” 

He grinned. “Okay. I was born October 8, 1975, and that makes me a Libra.”

“And what are Libras like?” She took a sip of her wine.

“Libras are usually kind.”

Rena nodded. “What else?”

“We like peace and harmony and will walk a mile around a fight. We love all things of beauty and have a hard time saying no sometimes.”

“Those all fit you.”

“I’ve lived in Cedar Springs all my life, except when I went away to college. My father’s name was Arthur.” He reached for his wine and took a sip.

***

Using tools like astrology is also a great way for the author to reveal more character depth to the reader without telling or doing a big info dump that the reader finds boring.

I’m a Leo. I was born on August 21st, the cusp of Leo/Virgo, and have some qualities from both signs. How about you? What is your sun sign? Have you ever used astrology in character development or in your storyline?

BOOK BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?


BOOK TRAILER LINK:
https://youtu.be/NHaLVSe_flI


Buy Ghostly Interference  Here:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of The Author’s Marketing Guild, Writer’s League of Texas, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), and sits on the RWISA Executive Council.

JAN SIKES
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

http://www.jansikes.com
https://jansikesblog.com/
https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
http://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8D (Author Page)
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sik

 

Special Guest Lynda McKinney Lambert – Visual Artist – InSights 20

 

It is my great pleasure to introduce a very Special Guest today. Please help me welcome visual artist Lynda McKinney Lambert back to The Write Stuff. Lynda is going to tell us in her own words (and poetry) about her amazing and beautiful work as a visual artist, and how she accomplishes this with seriously compromised vision. I think you’ll be inspired by what determination and a positive attitude can accomplish, so without further ado, please tell us your latest news, Lynda!

UPDATE: Lynda’s beautiful beadwork tied for first place in the Crafts Division of the Insights 20 international art website found HERE. Please check out her finished work after you read her post. It’s absolutely marvelous! Congratulations, Lynda!! 

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Hi, Marcia! Thanks for having me here today. The InSights 20 is an international art exhibition held each year in Louisville, KY, by the American Printing House for the Blind. The show opens on October 7 – online this year due to restrictions caused by the pandemic.

The artwork will be on the separate InSights Art website,  located HERE.  This website will be open at 8:00am, October 7, which is the first day of APH’s Annual Meeting, of which the InSights Art exhibit and Awards are part.

All artists in this annual exhibition have sight loss. I have “profound sight loss,” but I can do my intricate work by using technologies for the blind. In my case, I use an Acrobat Closed Circuit TV.  I will attach a photo of how this looks as I am working. 

Using this CC T V, I am able to see colors and objects, which I cannot see without such magnification.  My husband, Bob, helps me initially by pulling the colors of beads I want to use for the project.  This is my palette that I work from.

I can only work with one tiny bead at a time and use only one colour at a time on my desk.  This keeps me organized so that I don’t get the beads confused since I cannot see them without the equipment.

Marcia, I wrote a poem that describes how I create a talisman and the thought process that takes place as I work.

“A Talisman”
by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Visualize a talisman-
precious stones and crystals
woven in bold patterns
plenty of Japanese glass seed beads
tiny drops of perfect symmetry.

I select flawless beads
stab them onto steel needles
hundreds of stitches
thrust them one at a time
upwards into the heavens
endlessly.

I plunge my thin needle
deep through layers of stiff cloth
make my stitches sure
hold tight.

I’m a warrior woman
thumping my spirit-drum
made of dappled starlight.

I measure timeless days
counting beads in
a mystical circle
held together
with a bronze toggle clasp.

A Talisman brings
protection from evil
healing for weary spirits
nourishment for aching bodies
courage for new directions
on a pilgrimage
over treacherous pathways
guides my dimmed eyes
and nervous steps.

Black onyx ovals
are like a vintage fan
unfurled with a flourish
or a sacred victory flag
prepared to cast an invocation.

my fingers stroke cold stones
glossy-smooth, polished, faceted.
gifts for a King.

______

A Talisman – August 2, 2020
Written by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Copyright August 2, 2020. All rights reserved.

~~~


Visual Artist and  Author Lynda McKinney Lambert

I am a visual artist and hold the BFA and MFA degrees in painting. I also write and have 4 books on Amazon at this time – I have the MA degree in English. I’m a retired university professor of fine arts and humanities (Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA)  and I retired in 2008 after sudden and permanent sight loss.

My MISSION STATEMENT

  • I am the keeper of memories. I distill and share them  through  art and writing.
  • I reveal what is forgotten, lost, or unseen.
  • I write  spare poems and thoughtful personal essays.
  • I create art with  brilliant colors &  precious materials, one stitch at a time.

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“I can see why this (talisman)  captured first place. It captures the exact discipline of  the oriental master. Every stitch exact. Every stitch with a meaning. Every stitch with history behind it.  Bravo.”  ~  Leonard Tuchyner,  A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry Through the Seasons of Life. 

“Throughout this book (Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, DLD Books, 2019) of poems , these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brush strokes on her prize-winning piece of mixed-media  fiber artwork,  It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted  mural.”   ~  Wesley D. Sims, Taste of Change

“Lambert notices the colors and sounds that surround us., those odes that barely register through our buds and pads, and windshields , and she names them for us and she remembers them for us.” ~  Russell Streur, Editor, Plum Tree Tavern Literary Magazine

~~~

My thanks to you, Lynda, for sharing your story and your art with us today. I know others have found this as interesting and inspiring as I have. Folks, I encourage you to click on the link to InSights Art and check out Lynda’s work and that of other visually compromised artists. And if you’ve enjoyed learning about Lynda and her process for creating her beautiful beadwork, please let her know at one of the links below. Also be sure to check out her books of poetry, as well. You’ll be glad you did! 🙂


You can reach Lynda online here:
E-mail: riverwoman@zoominternet.net 
My website: http://www.lyndalambert.com
My Authors Page at DLD Books:  http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/

Lynda’s  Books Are Also Available on Amazon.com

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems by [Lynda Lambert]

Star Signs Available on Amazon HERE

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems by [Lynda McKinney Lambert]

Walking By Inner Vision Available on Amazon HERE