Tag Archives: Memoir

Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

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Flowers And Stone by [Sikes, Jan]

 

Blurb

The epic love story begins here!
A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.
1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

 

My Recommendation

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read.  This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings 5.0 of 5 Stars

 

Jan Sikes

 

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

 

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

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

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors – Lucy V. Hay, Miriam Hurdle, Phil Houston

Sally Cronin shared three of the nineteen contributing authors of this anthology. Take a peek at these authors’ life experiences.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the last two weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series:Contributors Part Three

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

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Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Memoir of a Mad Woman by [Quiroz-Vega, Vashti]

What Amazon Says

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

My Recommendation

In Memoir of a Mad Woman, Vashti Quiroz-Vega writes about the horrible experiences Emma went through. After her father left and mother was burned to death, she was placed in an orphanage. There was a time when Emma had a crush on a male teacher, had a girlfriend and even wanted to plan a birthday party for a female teacher. Her mental stage didn’t indulge her good feeling for too long before the cruelty of an institution inflicted upon her. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse ripped her apart and her only friend betrayed her. She was the loneliest soul in the orphanage while the director, male nurse and other adult ignored each other’s crime done to her. To a fifteen years old poor girl with no friends and no adult guidance, the bursting impulse pushed her to the edge of vengeance.

Vega in this short story exposes the dark side of reality which doesn’t come to surface easily. It’s an engaging quick read provoking emotion. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dark and horror stories.

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating:

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Vashti Quiroz-Vega

About the Author

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Contact the Author at:

Website: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vashti-Q-Author-Page-396515670465852/

 

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The Biggest Change: Times Past

Irene Waters hosts a monthly memoir post – Time Past. The theme for this month is The Biggest Change.

My mom is the Silent Generation and I am the Baby Boomer.

I have many stories to tell about the biggest change in my mom’s life as well as in my life. For this post, I write about the biggest change in my life within a few months in 1977. The changes in culture, environment, language, and ways of life happened to me all at once.

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I worked several years after graduated from college. I took the Double-Decker bus to work. It went from Kowloon to the underwater Crossed Harbour tunnel, then to  Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. At that time, there were no cell phones, I did my reading on the bus.

Being busy was an understatement. I worked forty hours a week in my paying job plus twenty hours a week volunteering at a church. I did most of the mental planning on the bus. It was an advantage to take public transportation. On some of the weeknights, I went window shopping to take my mind off the working mode. I did a thirty-minute walk from Pioneer Centre Shopping Arcade to Kowloon Central Post Office on Nathan Road, then took a bus home.

It was eleven thirty o’clock at night when I went to bed. The more I tried to relax the more anxious I got in my head. Getting six hours of sleep was fortunate before I shook my head to wake up the next morning.

On March 21, 1977, I arrived in Portland, Oregon to attend school for my graduate studies. The campus was surrounded by pine trees reaching into the sky. The school owned some housings and rented them to students. Many of the nearby residents rented out their homes to the students also. I shared a cottage with two female students. It was common that the basement and the attic were living areas if they met the legal requirement.  I lived in the attic, my housemates lived downstairs. I didn’t mind living in the attic because I was shy to carry on a conversation with my British English. My housemates were very friendly. We ate dinner together three times a week and took turns to do the cooking. Cooking was not something I did often in Hong Kong, so I tried to remember what my mom had done and did accordingly.

 “I’m living in a forest,” I told my family in a letter.

I had never experienced such quietness. It was so quiet that I started noticing the intermittent tinnitus in my left ear. This was an extremely different environment to the one I just left two days ago. My life was from running sixty miles an hour to almost a complete stop. In one minute, I was hustling and bustling to catch the bus; in another minute, I had nothing to do except going to classes and doing term papers.

Doing a typewritten paper was a challenge to me. I did all my writing in handwriting previously. When working on the first assignment, I learned to type with a manual typewriter and typed my paper at the same time. I didn’t want to type with two index fingers. How could I learn to type by doing that? By using ten fingers to type, it was inevitable to have many typos. There was no correction tape built into the typewriter, I used correction fluid. Experience taught me to apply a thin layer on the paper, not only for it to try faster, but avoid having a white hump on the paper.  Even when I typed after the fluid was dry, the dent would look like sticking the candles on the icing of a cake. It took me almost an hour to type my first page.

(Excerpt from my memoir in progress)

By the way, my first typewriter was orange. It looked almost the same as this image I found on Google search.

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Irene WatersThe biggest change: Times Past