New Release: Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes @jansikes3 #RomanticSuspense #MilitaryRomance #WhiteRuneSeries

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in script

Happy Guest Author Thursday! It’s my pleasure to welcome friend and Story Empire colleague, Jan Sikes with her newest release Jagged Feathers.

Jan has been burning up the blogosphere with the launch of book 2 in her White Rune Series, and I’m delighted to participate in her tour. You can find my review of Jagged Feathers (which BTW, reads perfectly fine as a standalone) HERE. I was smitten with her two leads, Vann and Nakina, and Vann’s dog, Champion. I also enjoyed the layers of symbolism and folklore in the book. Today, Jan shares how some of that came about in her post below. Take it away, Jan!

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

I have always been fascinated by Native American Folklore and spent a lot of time reading and researching different beliefs, especially concerning animals. Birds are believed to be messengers between worlds. My late husband had a strong connection with owls. To some tribes, the owl is an omen of death while to others it is a sign of wisdom.

In my story, Nakina Bird spent many summers of her youth on the reservation with her grandmother, so it was natural that she’d adhere to some of the Native American beliefs and traditions. The blue jay held special significance for Nakina. Not only are the blue feathers striking, but they are unique songbirds in that they mate for life. She recalled many of her grandmother’s teachings throughout the book, but this one seemed to stand out.

Banner ad for Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes on shows book on chipped, painted wooden floorboards


“Tell me about the shooting incident in your past that freaked you out so much.”

Nakina recounted the incident when the boys taunted her, and then how she accidentally shot the bird. “It made me physically sick. When the blue jay fell to the ground after I fired, it took every ounce of energy in me not to throw up right there in front of those boys.” She drew in a sharp breath. “After they left, I performed a sacred ceremony and buried the bird, but not before taking a special feather from him.” She twisted her hands together on her lap. “And now you understand why I reacted the way I did when you found the blue feather in the bottom of the boat. Ever since that day, blue feathers have been a good sign for me. Almost like the bird’s way of forgiveness.”

Vann whistled. “I can understand how you felt when you shot the jay.”

She stared out the window. “When I told Grandmother what happened with the bird, she said that to Native Americans, the blue jay represents trickery or mischievousness. Then she told me that blue jays mate for life, and that was symbolic for me. Of course, as a teenager, I dismissed all of it as folklore. But I did keep the beautiful blue feather to always remind me of what I’d done. And I never painted on it.”

“That’s quite some story. I’ve observed plenty of jays, and they’re generally aggressive and noisy birds, but I never thought of them as being symbolic of anything. I’ve watched them run off birds twice their size to get a ripe berry.”

“The Native American people have a story or some sort of symbolism for most everything, and they believe in spirit animals that walk with us and help us on our journey.”


Have you ever had a spirit animal or an experience with an animal that went beyond the norm? I know D.L. Finn has with bears and C.S. Boyack with Eagles. I’d love to hear about your affinity to a certain animal and what it means to you.

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?


Connect with Jan Sikes at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub | LinkedIn | Amazon Page

bio box for author, Jan Sikes

I had no idea blue jays mated for life. Yes, they can be aggressive and noisy as Vann points out, but they’re also amazing birds. I always liked watching them flit around the feeder in my rear yard.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post as much as I did, and will help me in cheering on Jan with her new release. Drop her a comment, then hop over to Amazon to ONE-CLICK your copy of Jagged Feathers!

79 thoughts on “New Release: Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes @jansikes3 #RomanticSuspense #MilitaryRomance #WhiteRuneSeries

  1. I’m also drawn to Native American folklore and culture. I was unaware that Blue Jays mated for life. A lot of people find them annoying, but I think they’re beautiful birds.

    I love owls and had heard some tribes believe they’re bad omens while others think they represent wisdom. I prefer the latter belief.

    Enjoying this tour, Jan. Thanks for hosting today, Mae.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I found that tidbit interesting about Blue Jays too, Joan. They are aggressive birds for sure. I totally agree with you about the owls. To me, they represent wisdom, viewing from a different perspective. Thank you so much for stopping by today and leaving a comment. I appreciate your support!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve heard that about owls too, Joan. I think they are astounding birds (I also like jays), but like black cats, owls have gotten a bad rap when it comes to superstitions and such. I’m with you in preferring to think of them as creatures who represent wisdom. I think of them as old spirits. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting to support, Jan. I’m so glad you’re enjoying her tour.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Blog Tour Day 19- Jagged Feathers #RomanticSuspense @wildrosepress @MaeClair1 – Writing and Music

  3. Mae, thanks for reviewing Jan’s book. It sounds fascinating and heartwarming. I always love a story of redemption – don’t we all search for a bit of that in some way? Blue Jays are gorgeous birds, we have many in our yard and I do love seeing that flash of blue, despite their aggressive behavior. Every creature has a flaw, and that is theirs. Jan, best of luck to you on your tour and with your book!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maura Beth, I love what you said about every creature having a flaw. So true! We used to put peanuts in the shell out for the jays.They were so much fun to watch.
      Jagged Feathers is def an entertaining read. I especially loved the two leads Jan created. It’s a great story!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, I didn’t know jays were related to crows and ravens. That explains why they can be noisy and aggressive. Thanks for that tidbit of info, Craig, and fingers crossed for an eagle sighting soon.

      Thanks for visiting to cheer on Jan with her tour!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Harmony. We think of them as just being animals and mating with instinct. It’s kinda cool to realize they have deep-rooted emotional attachments like humans. Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your support!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • When it comes to birds mating for life I always think of mourning doves, and how you always see them in pairs. I was clueless about jays, so that was quite the eye-opener for me, but I do love thinking about all the species that mate for life.

      Thanks for visiting today to celebrate with Jan, Harmony!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When I think about someone having an affinity with a particular animal, I always think about Sue Coletta and the ravens in her yard. The only relationship I have with animals that’s as powerful as that are with my dogs and my daughter’s cat. I loved the way bluejays factored into the story. Wishing you all the best with your release, Jan. Mae, thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great example, Staci. Sue obviously has some sort of affinity to Ravens. I just love it. I love that you have a special bond with your dogs and your grandcat. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words and spport!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m like you, Staci. My strongest attachment with an animal is to my cat. She and I have a particularly strong feline/human bond. McDoogal was like that, too.
      I do love hearing about people bonding with wild animals and creatures. There’s magic in it.

      Thanks for visiting today to cheer on Jan. She’s having a great tour!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a lovely intro to Jan, Mae. Thank you for sharing your site with us & promoting our friend! I can appreciate your interest in Native American culture, Jan. I’m right there with you. I think it’s fascinating to learn how other cultures and regions do things, what they believe, their relationships, etc. Now, let’s talk about the birds. We all know I’m an animal lover, but over the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with birds. We have a feeder in the back yard and I can spend hours just watching all the activity. Cardinals, Chickadees, Doves. They’re quite entertaining. Thank you, ladies, for sharing today’s post! It’s a great one per usual!

    Liked by 2 people

    • How awesome, Marlena. I think birds are amazing creatures and they are entertaining to watch. It is believed that they are messengers from Spirit World. Thank you for your kind words and support along this tour!! I appreciate you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I miss my feeder, Mar. We used to have two—one on a pole and a ground feeder. We had so many birds, and they were always a delight to watch. I can relate to all those wonderful birds in your backyard and how easily time passes enjoying their antics.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Jan’s post today and that you dropped by to cheer her on. It’s always a pleasure to have you visit!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. We have birdfeeders and lots of birds, but I always throw out peanuts in the shell for my squirrels and blue jays. In the morning, if the blue jays see me in the kitchen, they start yammering until I feed them. I have a Coopers hawk that visits on a regular basis, too. I love him, but I’m always glad when he doesn’t get one of my birds. When he was REALLY young, he dove down to grab a bird on my neighbor’s lilac bush and got himself so stuck, he couldn’t get out. I went and lowered branches to rescue him, and for a long time, every time he saw me, he called so that I’d notice him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful story, Judi! I love how that hawked called to you, and I’m glad you rescued him. One of the downsides to a bird feeder is that they do attract hawks. I had that problem with ours, and lost a few birds. Such a fine line to tread, because I understand that they have to feed too—I just didn’t want them to grab one of “my” birds.

      We used to put out peanuts in the shell for the jays and squirrels too. We had a ground feeder in addition to a regular bird feeder on a pole. Later, we got a pool so the feeders had to go (too messy), but I so enjoyed watching my birds.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Jan has been rocking the blogosphere with her new book! Wishing her great success. Mae, I’ve never has any such experiences with birds or animals that sound abnormal… beliefs abound and make me wonder whether they choose some special persons to communicate in a special way! 😊 Thanks for sharing an interesting excerpt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s an interesting thought, Balroop. I’m not sure how some people have a special affinity with an animal and others do not. It makes for lots of theories. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment today!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you liked Jan’s excerpt today, Balroop, and have been enjoying her tour. Jagged Feathers has been making a huge splash in the blogosphere. Your thought about animals and humans is interesting too (and would make a great plot line in a book). I agree that some people just seem to form bonds and connections while others don’t. Thought provoking stuff!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Our family believes that when we see a cardinal, it is a family’s spirit coming to greet us. We started a camping trip between the cousins after our uncle, who loved camping, passed away from a heart attack at a young age. Every time we camp (twice a year), we always see a cardinal stop by our site. Great excerpt today, Jan! Thanks for hosting, Mae. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awwww, what a wonderful family belief. I also believe Cardinals often are conduits for loved ones to drop in and check on us. I aways feel like my mother is near when I see a Cardinal. Thank you for sharing and for tagging along on this tour! Much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

    • What a fantastic story and belief, Yvette. I’m sorry about your uncle, but I love that you have such a connection to him through cardinals. Thank you for sharing that awesome story—and for visiting today to cheer on Jan!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I love native american animals folklore too. Yes, bears do make more than a normal appearance in my life 🙂 So I listen to the message and mice recently. Spiders show up a lot when I need to get more creative again…or start a writing project. I love how you incorporate that into your stories, Jan!

    Thanks for hosting, Mae 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very cool that you have connections with so many creatures, Denise. It’s a good reminder too, that we need to stop and ponder messages when they appear in the guise of animals and/or nature.

      Many thanks for sharing and for supporting Jan today!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment, Denise! I love how you are so attuned to animals and nature and look for the signs and symbols. The messages are usually profoundly accurate. I appreciate your support throughout this blog tour!

      Liked by 2 people

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  14. Yes, I think blue jays get a bad ‘rap” (or reputation). I watch them often around our bird feeder and I do get annoyed when they chase away the smaller birds. But, they’re looking out for their own, and how lovely that they mate for life. I love the idea of the blue feather, and I’ve heard that seeing a feather float from the sky can be a message from a departed loved one. Me? I get sightings of my dear dog, who passed eight years ago but is my spirit animal now. He soothes me when I get stressed, and snuggles when I’m down. Hey, I know this sounds weird, so I’ll stop there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam, I think it’s wonderful you can sense your dog with you in times of trouble, especially after all this time. He must have been very special.
      And you’re right about the jays. They have young and mates to look after, too. I always thought it odd that such a beautiful bird could be so noisy and aggressive, but I like that they form such strong attachments. When I used to put peanuts out for them, they’d be sure to let me know when the supply was running low, LOL.
      Thanks for visiting and checking out Jana’s post. I’m so glad you dropped by!

      Liked by 1 person

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