Tag Archives: PTSD

Jagged Feathers – @jansikes3 #NewRelease #RomanticSuspense #WhiteRuneSeries

Jan Sikes is a dear friend, a Story Empire colleague, and an incredible author. She’s taking her newest publication on tour and chose Entertaining Stories to spread the word. Check out her excerpts, and please use those sharing buttons.


Thank you, Craig, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.

Today, I want to talk about one aspect of my new book that required a lot of research and that is drug cartels. My knowledge of these powerful organizations comes from watching “Queen of the South” and “Ozarks.” So, I needed to do some actual research to give my story a believability factor. They show up early in the book, but their appearance only raises questions for Vann. Questions that Nakina hesitates to answer.


Vann slipped her backpack off and lifted her onto the seat, glad for his determination to stay in excellent physical shape following his rehab. She hardly weighed anything. He tossed the backpack onto the floorboard, and Champion jumped in.

One thing for sure, this woman was no ordinary street person with her fancy inlaid boots and soft leather jacket.

Only two blocks away, the black SUV approached faster.

He met her dark eyes, pools of sadness and despair, when she gripped his hand. “Please, mister. You can’t take me to a hospital. They’ll find me there.”

Vann sprinted to the driver’s side, keeping an eye on the approaching vehicle now only a block away. The hairs on his arms stood on end like they always did when in enemy territory.

Time to move. He jammed the gears, and tires squealed as he made a U-turn, meeting the SUV head-on.

The window on the driver’s side lowered, and the unmistakable glint of blue metal sent him sailing down a side street. But not before a bullet whizzed by the jeep, missing its target.

“Oh, hell! Get down,” he yelled.

A sharp turn down a deserted alleyway put him closer to the highway. He pressed on the gas.

With one eye on the rearview mirror, he took fast zigzag turns until he reached the main road.

He’d lost them. But questions flew around his head like a swarm of angry bees.


(Nakina is talking) “So, I came to work on a Friday morning, and there were two Latin American men dressed in expensive suits waiting to see Mr. Gordon. They weren’t on his schedule, and I’d never seen them. He hadn’t arrived yet, so I asked them if they wanted to wait. But Mr. Gordon didn’t come in. When I tried to call him, he didn’t answer. I started getting a bad feeling. And I got flashes of men with angry faces, cursing, and the sound of a shovel connecting with hard ground.”

“What did you do?” Vann tried to imagine her fear.

She cleared her throat. “I told the men that I didn’t know where Mr. Gordon was, and he wasn’t answering his phone. They left after an hour or so.”

“Who do you suppose they were?”

“I’m getting to that. Almost the minute the two men were out of sight, Mr. Gordon crawled through the window in his office and called for me. He was disheveled and looked as though he’d been trekking through the woods, with dirt and pieces of leaves and grass on his clothes.”

“I hope you locked the office door behind the two men when they left.”

“I hadn’t, but as soon as Mr. Gordon came in, I did. He was wild-eyed and almost incoherent. He shoved this package in my hands along with the key and told me to deliver them. Then he handed me a bus ticket. I was totally freaked out and tried to ask questions. The only thing he said was that the Montoya Cartel was going to kill him. He said this package would take care of his wife and son and that I was the only person he trusted to deliver it.”

Vann scrubbed his chin and leaned forward. “The Montoya Drug Cartel?”

Nakina nodded.

“That’s who is after you?”


I’ve never had any first-hand dealings with a drug cartel, thank goodness, but I do enjoy watching the shows that expose their inner workings. I won’t ask if anyone has ever had a run-in with one of these powerful organizations, but I will ask how many have watched “Queen of the South” or “Ozarks?” Your thoughts?

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


Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks


WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG: http://www.jansikesblog.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jansikes/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK


Filed under Writing

Unseen Motives, by Joan Hall

Hey, gang, this is Joan’s first visit to Entertaining Stories. She’s one of the members of Story Empire and we’re all out on tour this week. Please make her feel welcome by clicking on those sharing buttons and checking out her wares. If you leave a comment, you might even win one of the prizes.

La Niña (And Another Real-Life Event)

Hello everyone! The Story Empire Roadshow is rolling on. I want to thank Craig for hosting me on this fourth stop. Today I’m going to talk a bit about the weather phenomenon, La Niña.

You may wonder how or why La Niña relates to a piece of fiction. But in my novel Unseen Motives, the La Niña episode of mid-2010 to early 2011 influenced weather worldwide. In Texas, and other surrounding states, the year 2011 was one of the hottest and driest on record.

Summer began early and stayed late. Rainfall stopped in early spring and by late July grass was like dry powder. Officials issued outdoor burning bans (people couldn’t even use charcoal grills) and numerous wildfires broke out all over the state.

Lakes, rivers, and ponds dropped to record low water levels—many dried up completely. And those once deep waters revealed clues to some long time mysteries. Eight years after the space shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas, someone found a significant part in Lake Nacogdoches.

Closer to home, people found unusual and unexpected things in their stock ponds. Upon reading one such story, the idea came to me to have a character find a long-buried secret in a small pond. (I won’t tell you what this character found, but suffice to say it contained a significant clue to a long unsolved mystery.)

Although five years passed between that severe drought and the publication of Unseen Motives, I decided to set the story during the drought of 2011.

There are other aspects in the book based on real-life events. One of which is something that happened to me when I was seventeen—the time I saw a ghost.

Well, maybe it wasn’t a ghost, but I don’t know of any other explanation. When you see a man walk out of the shadows, step onto his porch, bend down to pet his dog, and walk inside his house it has to be real. The dog even acknowledged his presence.

A couple of hours later, I learned this man was taken by ambulance from his home (I saw the ambulance leave, but couldn’t see who they placed inside. The man had died. My mother also saw him, so I know I wasn’t dreaming. So what did I see?

I decided to have a character who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder see a man whom some people believed was dead. Because this character had experienced hallucinations, she keeps silent, but does record the event in her journal. She was afraid if she told, no one would believe her. The last thing she wanted was for someone to place her back in a mental hospital.

Unseen Motives is a work of fiction. But as a writer, I took the liberty of incorporating these two real life events into the story. Intrigued yet?

Things aren’t always as they seem…

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery and suspense. The author of several best-selling thrillers returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake twenty years after her father’s suicide when her great-aunt Helen dies.

She hopes to settle Helen’s affairs as quickly as possible and leave behind the place where she suffered so much heartache. Soon after her arrival, Stephanie stumbles upon information that leads her to believe that all is not as it seems.

When she digs deeper into secrets long buried, she begins to receive warning notes and mysterious phone calls. The threats soon escalate into deliberate attempts to harm her. Stephanie soon finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger.
Who doesn’t want her to stay? And why? What are they afraid she’ll learn?

Undaunted, Stephanie searches for clues about the scandal surrounding her father’s death. But discovering the truth places her in the path of a cold-blooded killer.

Get your copy right here.

Joan Hall

Author of Suspense, Mystery, and Mainstream Fiction

Connect with me on:


On tomorrow’s tour stop, I’ll feature a deleted scene of the book. And at the end of the tour, I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. I’d love to know if you’ve seen anything that can’t be easily explained.

Joan Hall




Filed under Writing