Hello, and happy November! I’ve got a great way for you to kick off the month—with a fabulous book that combines romantic suspense, horses, rodeo, music, and even a murder mystery! Jan Sikes is visiting today with her newest release, Saddled Hearts.
Jan is a dear friend, a sweetheart of a person, and a talented author. Saddled Hearts is the final novel in her White Rune series, but reads perfectly as a stand alone. Look for my five-star review at the end of this post. In the meantime, please welcome Jan!
I am thrilled to visit your blog today, Mae, to talk about my new book, Saddled Hearts. Thank you so much for allowing me to take it over. I deeply appreciate your generosity and support!
When Colt Layne decided to visit the New Age Life Center and consult a medium for communication with his grandfather from beyond the grave, he was in for a shock. I loved writing this scene so much because I could easily recall the first time I stepped inside a New Age store. I’ll share a little bit of his first impression.
Inside a small metaphysical shop that led into the New Age Life Center, incense tickled Colt’s nostrils while flute music filtered through small wall-mounted speakers. Crystals and other gemstones lined one wall, while books, tarot and oracle cards, essential oils, and incense lined another.
He twirled his Stetson and shifted from one booted foot to the other as he waited for Sage Coventry.
Maybe this was a bad idea. He couldn’t be more out of place if he’d landed in the middle of a foreign country that spoke an entirely different language.
A young girl with a long, tie-dyed scarf wrapped around her head perched behind the counter, munching on an apple. “You can have a seat if you want, Mr. Layne. Sage will be with you shortly.”
Colt glanced around the space and spied no chairs, only colorful cushions scattered on a rug in front of a bookcase. “I’ll just stand if that’s okay.”
The girl shrugged.
In the uncomfortable silence that followed, he meandered to the bookcase and perused the titles. Every subject, from learning to harness the energy of gemstones to reading tarot cards and something called akashic records, filled the shelves. He cleared his throat, put his hat under his arm, then slid out a book entitled Animal Speak by Ted Berner. Now there was something he could relate to.
How much longer? He glanced at his watch. It was already ten minutes past his appointment time. Even though Jag thought highly of the woman’s talents, Colt had his doubts. Sage Coventry was probably an old crone with a pointed witch’s hat and moles on her chin. One of those con artists that tricked desperate folks out of their money.
Yes, this was a bad idea. He slid the book back onto the shelf and headed toward the door.
Have you ever visited a metaphysical store? If so, what were your first impressions? The first one I walked into was in Austin, Texas, in the seventies. I remember being a little overwhelmed but oh, so very curious. Let’s chat.
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.
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Awesome, right? If you’re not already intrigued by Jan’s excerpt, and the blurb, let me entice you further with . . .
Saddled Hearts wraps up Jan Sikes White Rune series in spectacular fashion. Colt Layne, who had a small role in the previous novel, takes center stage along with Sage Coventry, a young widow who can communicate with the dead. When a stranger shows up on Colt’s ranch claiming to have won it in a card game from Colt’s uncle years ago, Colt contacts Sage to try to reach his uncle beyond the Veil.
Although the novel has a supernatural thread woven throughout, it’s the mystery in the physical world I found most compelling. Colt is framed for murder, then freed on bail, but his troubles don’t end there. The ranch—which he uses to run a horse sanctuary—is plagued by a series of unexplained mishaps and accidents. If that’s not enough, his estranged father, an alcoholic who deserted Colt when he was a boy, shows up claiming to be a changed man thanks to his new wife.
From romance to family dynamics, friendships to rivalries, old grudges and buried secrets, there are a plethora of threads twined throughout this engaging novel. I loved the strength of the character relationships, as well as the care and attention the author put into showing the daily operation of a horse sanctuary. I was enchanted with Ghost, an abused horse who arrives part way through the story and was on pins and needles until that thread resolved itself. The overall arc of who framed Colt played out in a manner I did not suspect. A wonderful blend of romance, mystery, danger, and even music, Saddled Hearts is the perfect ending to a wonderful series. Highly recommended!
Thanks for visiting today. Don’t forget Jan has a scavenger hunt going on for extra fun (see block after the blurb for details). You can connect with Jan at all her social media sites.
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