Check out Saddled Hearts

Let’s all give a rousing welcome to Jan Sikes today. She’s here to tell us about Saddled Hearts. This is the third volume in her White Rune series. Jan is a long-term friend, a contributing member of Story Empire, and just an all around neat lady. Please help her out by using those sharing buttons today.


I am super excited to be visiting at your blog site today, Craig. Thank you so much for offering to let me take over. Your support is much appreciated.

Every story must have conflict. Without it, there is nothing for the characters to achieve. And our job, as writers, is to keep ramping up the conflict throughout the story until we reach the black moment.

When my protagonist, Colt Layne, is arrested and charged with murder, it increases the tension and gives him a pretty big obstacle to work through. He must prove his innocence, but the evidence against him is strong.

Today, I want to share with you the moment when he realizes he’s been framed for the murder of Jeremiah Tompkins.


“Colt Layne.”

He jumped to his feet. “Yes, sir.”

“Follow me, please.”

Colt nodded and fell in behind the young, uniformed officer.

The man stopped behind a desk in the back corner and motioned to Colt to sit across from him. He pressed a button on a digital recorder, then opened a file. “Mr. Layne, I’m Officer Daly. I understand you’re here to make a statement about the events from last night regarding the death of Jeremiah Tompkins.”

“I am.”

“Just so you are aware, this conversation will be recorded.”

Colt cleared his throat. “I understand.”

The policeman rattled off the time and date and Colt’s name in a bored monotone before he proceeded.

After Colt relayed every detail from the night before, minus his foreman being with him, he leaned back in the chair. “That’s all I know.”

The rookie officer clicked off the recording. “Okay. Thank you for your time. You are free to go. We’ll contact you if we need any further information.”

Colt had expected a barrage of questions. He breathed a sigh of relief, stood, and shook hands, then weaved his way through the desks back to the front door.

As he was about to walk out, Toby called out his name. “Hey, Layne. Wait a minute.”

He turned to see two men in suits and ties standing with Toby. “Yes?”

“These men need to speak to you.”

What now? Colt took a few steps toward them. “What can I help you with?”

One man flashed a badge. “I’m Detective Lopez, and this is Detective Roberts. I think you better come with us.”

“I’ve already given my statement. The officer said I could go.”

“Yeah, well, something’s changed. Come with us, please. Or do we need to cuff you?”

“Cuff me?” Colt frowned. “What in the hell are you talking about?”

One of the men stepped forward. “Colt Layne, you are under arrest for the murder of Jeremiah Tompkins. You have the right to remain silent…”

The thudding of Colt’s heart drowned out the rest of what the man said. What in the holy hell? This couldn’t be happening.

Over the next hour, they took Colt’s fingerprints, mug shot, and confiscated his personal belongings. His head spun. Nothing made sense.

No matter how many questions he asked, no one told him anything. Finally, he was allowed his one phone call.

“Jag.” He breathed a sigh of relief when his friend answered the phone. “This is Colt. I’ve got a problem.”


My late husband was arrested and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, and that personal experience gave me fodder for writing this scene. Have you ever had one of your characters falsely charged with a crime? Let’s talk!


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.

Let’s go on a scavenger hunt! Hidden within the blog posts are clues you will need to look for.

The theme is “Things You’d Find On A Ranch.”

When you find these clues, email your answers to me at


In the subject line.

The person with the most correct entries will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The runner-up will receive an eBook of Saddled Hearts! 

It Pays To Play!















Filed under Writing

47 responses to “Check out Saddled Hearts

  1. Pingback: Saddled Hearts #BlogTour #Giveaway #ScavengerHunt @wildrosepress – Writing and Music

  2. I am really looking forward to reading this one!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for hosting Jan today, Craig. I’m looking forward to reading her latest release. I’ve heard wonderful things about the book. Congrats, Jan!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Check out Saddled Hearts | Legends of Windemere

  5. Huge congratulations, Jan, on your latest book! I’m enjoying your tour and wish you every success. Craig, thanks for sharing 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I remember reading that scene and thinking how terrifying that would be. That your husband went through it is tragic. I’m sure you had a lot of memories surface as you wrote this. I’m so sorry, but excellent job, Jan. Wishing you all the best with this.

    Thanks for hosting, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Staci. I think personal experiences can deepen any scene we write and that was the case with this scene. I appreciate you riding along on the tour and offering your support of the book! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Another great stop on the tour, Jan. It’s wonderful to see you here at Craig’s place. That was an intense scene that ramped up the tension and added a race against time to discover the real killer. Well done. I’ve used false accusations a few times in my books. They’re definitely a way to complicate our protagonists’ lives. 🙂 A great book that I highly recommend!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gwen M. Plano

    Another fantastic tour stop, Jan. My sincerest congratulations on this latest winner. Thank you, Craig, for hosting. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. marymorgan2

    Loved this story! Well done, Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m right in the middle of reading this. It’s hard to put down even though my day is packed full with tasks. I can’t wait to get back to it!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you, Craig, for turning your blog over to me today! I sincerely appreciate your support!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great excerpt! I’d be terrified, numb with fear. You picked a great conflict for your hero. Good luck with your book, Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I haven’t put my characters through this, but I just finished a book where the main character was accused of heinous crimes she didn’t commit. To go through it personally is unimaginable – so sorry that happened to your husband, Jan. Thanks for hosting, Craig!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jan has sunk her spurs into a winner here!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. An excellent excerpt, Jan. Congratulations. Thanks to Craig for hosting.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. A great tour stop Jan with a compelling excerpt. Colt had to overcome a lot in Saddled Hearts, especially being falsely accused. I haven’t done this to any of my characters, but you really handled writing it well.

    Thanks for hosting, Craig!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Thank you for your recommendation and kind words, Mae! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for stopping by, sharing and commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Craig, it’s great to see Jan here with this book.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I can’t imagine how you felt when that happened to Rick. (Or how he felt.)

    You already know I loved Saddled Hearts and highly recommend it! 4

    Thanks for hosting, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Mar

    Such a good excerpt, Jan! This book continues to get more and more exciting. Thank you so much for sharing your site with us, Craig!!

    Liked by 2 people

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