Stimulates the imagination!

Stimulates the imagination!

Wizards, fairies, spirits from long ago, time travel, mental telepathy and a Spirit attendee are just part of the adventure you’ll find in The Wizard of Dreams. From the first paragraph, we know that Gordon, who is just moving out of his toddler years and ready to begin school, is an extraordinary boy. He has what his mum refers to as a “imaginary friend,” but whom we find as we read on is either a guardian angel, spirit guide, or an alter-ego of this extremely gifted child. Gordon possesses uncanny intelligence and knowledge that exceeds his age. He stands up to bullies much older and larger than himself and I won’t tell you how that turns out. You’ll need to read the story to see.

Zack, Gordon’s attendee, is as much a part of the story plot as Gordon himself is. Together, they go on adventures in dreams where they save fairies from fire-breathing dragons, travel backward in time to meet Gordon’s sixteen generations back great grandmother who gives him a gift and reveals shocking information that will serve Gordon and the planet earth well.

I don’t want to tell too much and spoil the story. I will say this is a delightful read for any young adult or young-at-heart adult. If you like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, you’ll love this book about Gordon and Zack and their many adventures. Robin Chambers did a fantastic job of crafting this story. The writing flows and in that flow, carries you right along with it. With vivid descriptions, you can see what Gordon and Zack are seeing. You are flying on broomsticks with them or kneeling before kings. This is the first book in this series and I look forward to book 2!




Goodreads Giveaway of The Convict and the Rose.


The sequel to Flowers and Stone

The sequel to Flowers and Stone



This story is set behind the forty foot walls and iron bars of Leavenworth Penitentiary.

Luke Stone had been a rebel all of his life. He’d played music from Texas and Oklahoma to California, filling dance halls and honky-tonks everywhere he went. He never believed that he could be convicted of a crime he hadn’t committed, and yet the truth stared him in the face as he painstakingly made his way up the long set of stone steps leading to the door of Leavenworth prison. He lost everything in life that he treasured, including the woman who held his heart.

Still rebellious, angry, bitter and downright hurt, he struggled to survive behind the walls.

Left alone, broken and lost, Darlina Flowers had her own struggles. How does one go on living with only half a heart? She experimented with many different things to fill the emptiness, but all roads eventually led back to Luke and the undying love between them.

The Convict and the Rose is about these two people, but through them, it looks at a number of universal problems we all face, and is an inspiring guide to making a better life, regardless of our circumstances

This is a true story and is the sequel to Flowers and Stone. Watch for the third and final part of this trilogy, Home At Last coming in Spring 2015!

Creative Writing Truth by Jan Sikes

What does writing truth in a creative way mean?
This is the most accurate description I can think of for the stories I write in a creative and entertaining way:

  • They are factual events, set in true settings. However, I have changed the characters names to fictional names and write in fiction formatting. That seemed to be the only way I could separate myself enough from this extremely personal story to go ahead and tell it.

When you pick up Flowers and Stone or The Convict and the Rose, you are reading about real things that happened to real people told in a creative way.
Luke Stone is the fictitious name for Rick Sikes. Darlina Flowers is the fictitious name for Jan Sikes (me). You can now see why these stories are very personal.

Why would I put myself out there like that?

  • I have a burning desire and passion to tell these stories. They are inspirational in that Luke and Darlina faced what appeared to be insurmountable hardships as their love was tested beyond measure and it only grew stronger.

As you will find in the first installment of the story, Flowers and Stone, these two unlikely people crossed each other’s paths and fell head over heel in love. But, it was too late. The die had been cast and in a short time, Luke knew he had to separate himself from Darlina to save her from being dragged through the muck and mire of a situation he’d created long before she came into his life. His need to protect her was stronger than his desire to be with her.
I won’t give the story away as it takes many twists and turns, but my hope for anyone who reads this story, is that they might believe in love. Not just “love”, but unearthly, undying, everlasting LOVE.

In The Convict and the Rose, Luke Stone arrives at Leavenworth Penitentiary angry, bitter and rebellious. He’d never believed for a minute that he would be convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
Separated by walls and bars, Luke and Darlina try to find a way to live with their hearts and souls intertwined. Their journey both inside and outside prison will take you on a rollercoaster ride as they both grow and learn the hard lessons of life.

  • The inspiration from this book is how through the power of positive thinking and action, Luke grew from the angry, bitter, egotistical person he’d been his entire life to a man with wisdom and inner strength. Anyone can make the best of a negative situation. When that choice is made, the negative situation fades and the positive shines.

I’d be honored if you’d join in their journey and glean from the pages, bits and pieces of wisdom you can apply to your own life. “Always do the best you can with what you have where you are” became the motto to live by.

Why do you produce music cds with the books?

The entire story revolves and evolves around music. Rick Sikes (aka Luke Stone) was a music man from as early as he could remember. Before he could talk, he tried to mimic the sound of Jimmie Rodgers yodeling that he heard through the Victrola. Although he wore many hats throughout his life, music was always the core of his being.

  • After he was incarcerated, the burning desire to continue to make music led him to building a historic recording studio within the walls of Leavenworth Prison.
  • The music cds simply complete the written story.
  • The Convict and the Rose along with Forty Foot High is a journey through words and music of two people facing struggles of epic proportion from shackles and chains to drugs and gurus with undying love as their North Star.

New Authors by Jan Sikes

So, you’ve awakened in the middle of the night with an inspiration for an incredible story. What do you do now?
The alarm goes off a few hours later and your feet hit the floor to start your daily routine and rush off to work. You’re sitting at your desk minding your own business, working away, when suddenly you remember the story inspiration that woke you during the night. Are you about to become a new author?

Does this sound familiar? How many potential new authors actually stop long enough to jot down a few notes about the story-line? Taking that first step is the most important one in the whole process. Once you make that first set of notes, then you’ll find yourself building off them and before long, you may have an entire outline laid out.
Note pad and pencil

What does it take to keep a new author inspired and creating? The answer to that is as varied as the number of people on the planet. Everyone is an individual and different things motivate different people.

As a publisher, I love to encourage new authors to go ahead and take the steps to create your story. I promise that getting started is the hard part. Once you get going, the story takes over and unfolds in your head as the words spill out onto the computer screen.

Here are a few tips that you may find helpful.
** Keep the story on your mind when you’re driving. Sometimes some great inspirations happen while stuck in traffic.
** Try to work on your story a little every day. Keeping up the momentum is ultra-important. If you go a few weeks without visiting the characters, you may find it hard to call them back.
** Write things that you know. If you’ve never visited a foreign country, you may find it difficult to write a story set in Rome, Italy.
** Don’t let anything crush your confidence. If you receive criticism about your work, look at it to see what you can learn. If there is nothing, then discount it as negativity.
** Join writing circles and groups. The feedback and general sharing of ideas and struggles is a great motivator.
** Take a writing class at a local community college.

But most of all, just write. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The first draft is NEVER perfect. But, if you go forward, one chapter at a time, before long, you’ll have an entire novel written. Then, you can start working on cleaning it up, re-arranging sentences and correcting punctuation and grammar.

So, if you have a story idea, don’t procrastinate. Make some notes! Write the first chapter. Think about it and work on it every day.

And, when you’ve finished and you are ready to have your amazing manuscript edited and published, give RiJan Publishing the opportunity to make that aspect easy and affordable for you.

Book Release – The Convict and the Rose

Today, my focus is on the release of my new book and music cd project.

I am reminded of how it is much like a mother giving birth to an amazing new life.
I see each project I do as having a life of its own and each one is as individual as children. They say you can have a dozen children and they’ll all be unique and different. I see my books and music the same way.

For those who read the first book in this trilogy, Flowers and Stone, I am sure they are thinking they know what is coming in The Convict and the Rose. But, that is not exactly true.
The Convict and the Rose is as different from Flowers and Stone as two children born to the same parents.

I love the creative process of expressing this true story through the books. But, in addition to the books, I also create a music cd that goes hand in hand with them. Why?
Because the basis of the entire story is a love and passion for writing and creating music. That is the one constant that carries through from book to book. The main male character in these books, Luke Stone, was a music man. He not only performed music, but wrote. His passion was writing. So, to me, adding the music cd to the book simply completes the story.

The Convict and the Rose begins at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas. Luke Stone, convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, arrives angry, bitter and rebellious. As the story unfolds, through incidents that occur, he begins to grow within himself and starts a journey of self-discovery. He makes the choice to learn how to be positive in a negative setting.
Darlina Flowers, left with a gaping hole in her heart due to Luke’s departure, attempts to go on living as he’d encouraged her to do. She tried many different paths from drugs to gurus and relationships. Nothing filled the emptiness left by Luke.
The Convict and the Rose is a story of the journey of these two souls joined together by a love that transcends the earthly plane.

The music on Forty Foot High is as unique as the story. Eleven of the twelve tracks were recorded in a makeshift recording studio inside Leavenworth Prison. This in itself is historic as the studio, put together by Luke Stone (aka Rick Sikes) in prison, is the only one known to have existed inside an American prison.
The title song on the cd, Forty Foot High, consists of lyrics written by Luke Stone (aka Rick Sikes) and brought to life by recording artist, Jamie Richards.

So, as any mother is with her brand new baby, I am excited to share this project with the world.
You can find more information at my website.

The sequel to Flowers and Stone

The sequel to Flowers and Stone

Music recorded inside prison

Music recorded inside prison

What is Assisted Publishing?

book in grass music notes floating            In this ever-changing world of literary and music publishing, we see new terminologies pop up all the time. One of the latest is “Assisted Publishing.”

            Exactly what does Assisted Publishing mean?

Perhaps to different companies, it means different things, but to RiJan Publishing, it simply means what it says. It is assisting authors and music artists in publishing their work, whether it is a book or a song they’ve just written.

My job at RiJan Publishing is to connect authors and artists with the right professional for their specific job so that the end result is a book you can be proud to announce to the world, or a song that you can rest assured is protected and registered where it should be.

As your publisher, the goal is to make sure you don’t get ripped off for the services you need as well as guaranteeing the level of service you receive is nothing less than complete professional

I can help you avoid the pitfalls of self-publishing.

Marketing your book and/or song is different project by project, but you will have the opportunity to choose marketing materials depending on the package you choose. The other part of marketing that RiJan Publishing can assist you with is setting up your Author page on Amazon, Goodreads, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Ultimately the type of marketing you do is up to you and if you desire a higher level of marketing, RiJan Publishing partners with two different marketing gurus and you would be referred to them at no cost to you.

You retain control of your work at all times. You decide what goes or stays. You receive all of the returns for your work. RiJan Publishing receives nothing but the payment you make for the services you require and retains NO rights to any of your work.

So welcome to RiJan Publishing. Look around the site and please email me any questions you may have.

We take the hassle, worry and expense out of self-publishing. That’s our promise.