Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Flowers & Stone,” “The Convict & the Rose,” and “Home, At Last” by Jan Sikes, @JanSikes3

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

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.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

My Recommendation

I found “Flowers and Stone” as a free book offer in August and downloaded the Kindle. I started reading and couldn’t stop. I had to read book two and three! I was totally immersed in this story of true love. This review covers the first three books about the life of Rick & Jan Sikes.

The story begins in the 1970s when nineteen-year-old Darlina Flowers leaves home to work in a factory. At night, she moonlights as a go-go dancer where she meets the dashing Luke Stone, a Texas country western musician. Luke asks Darlina to join him in a threesome, which she promptly turns down. In this book, be prepared for sex, drugs, and plenty of honky-tonk music!

Luke, fifteen years older than Darlina, is a veteran to the honky-tonk scene. Darlina loves music and go-go dancing and becomes a part of Luke’s show, the Rhythm Rebels, as she dances to draw in the crowds. Stone has plenty of talent but at this point in his life, he’s a cad, married with a wife and children. Darlina longs for romance, but Luke comes with so much baggage. Before long, this unlikely couple is drawn together and bound with a love that refuses to die, no matter the odds.

Darlina is naïve, but she takes this definition to another level. At times, I just wanted to reach out and shake her for the decisions she made. But when it comes to love, most women will go to the ends of the universe for their man. Darlina and Luke seemed destined to walk this road together.

Pinterest: Jan Sikes: Rick Sikes & the Rhythm Rebels

But, all is not as it seems. Luke’s past haunts him. Sometimes when he’s drinking, he slips in and out of strange dreams that hint at a past life during the Civil War. To make matters worse, Luke hangs out with some seedy characters who drag him into a plot that tears Darlina from his life. He knows he has to protect her, so he sends her away in the nick of time. When Luke is arrested for bank robbery, he ends up in prison with a 75 year sentence, convicted of a crime he did not commit. But, through it all, Darlina stands by, loving her man with all her might.

The Convict and The Rose:

From the Author

The Convict and the Rose: Award winning Biographical/Fiction sequel to Flowers and Stone.

Luke and Darlina find their love severely tested as they struggle to overcome enormous odds.
When Texas veteran musician Luke Stone, finds himself behind bars with a seventy-five-year sentence, he is filled with hate, anger, and rebelliousness. He’s lost everything that he treasures, including the woman who holds his heart.
How has it come down to this? He’s spent his entire life writing songs and making music, filling dance halls and bars from Texas to California. But, when he refuses to tell the FBI what he knows about certain bank robberies that he possesses knowledge of, they make sure he pays dearly.
Broken and alone, in a prison of her own, Darlina Flowers struggles to find a way to live without the man she loves so completely. Over the next sixteen years, Luke and Darlina each search for ways to somehow survive the fate life has hurled them into. In an effort to dull the pain of living with only half a heart, Darlina gets involved in drugs, then follows a guru and tries different relationships, but nothing fills the void.
Several years pass before Luke makes up his mind that prison will not break him. He crawls up from the bottom one tiny step at a time, determined to be and do something worthwhile and discovers artistic talents he never realized he had.
The Convict and the Rose inspires hope and shows how anyone can turn a negative dark situation into a positive one. But more importantly, the story portrays a love that goes beyond earthly confines and proves how persistence and faith come with their own sweet reward.
Join Luke and Darlina as they continue their epic journey with love as their constant North Star and freedom as the driving force.

My Recommendation

The Convict and the Rose is the kind of story you won’t soon forget. Luke Stone is now in prison, and Darlina Flowers struggles to make sense of her life without the man she loves. This book chronicles Luke’s life in prison and Darlina’s life without Luke.

Darlina tries to start her life over. She marries Will but never loves him the way she loved Luke. Their life together follows a rocky road to motorcycle gangs and drugs, eventually landing before the great Guru Maharaj Ji. Now a part of the loyal following of the Guru, Jan gives birth to two daughters, but Will doesn’t seem to notice; he’s too wrapped up in the cult. Finally, Darlina finds the courage to leave Will and start over once again. However, she cannot let go of Luke, no matter how she tries.

Meanwhile, Luke has his own battles to deal with in prison. After a couple of bouts of illness, Luke finds he wants Darlina to live a full and happy life, even if it’s without him. But he still can’t let Darlina go. His love carries him to his own moment of enlightenment—awareness that he can’t change his circumstances, but he could change himself. Luke is determined to show that something good can come out of his time in prison. He transforms into the man he was always destined to be.

I read through frequent tears, in awe of the hardships Darlina and Luke went through to be together.

From the Author

With empty pockets and a heart full of dreams Luke Stone leaves behind the nightmare of fifteen long years in Leavenworth prison, not giving it a backward glance.
Eyes firmly on the future, he boards a Greyhound bus bound for Texas…for freedom…for the one who holds his heart. The unjust conviction no longer matters and revenge haunts him no more. Darlina Flowers, the woman who takes his breath away, waits ahead and with her by his side, nothing can stop him, or can it?
He is headed HOME AT LAST.

My Recommendation

After fifteen years, Luke is finally home with his beloved Darlina in his arms. Both divorced, they can marry quickly. Now the hard work begins for them as a couple and a family. Darlina and Will’s daughters call Luke “Daddy,” and with that comes the responsibility of being a father to his step-daughters and also to his own children. This is a second change at a new life—or is it?

The couple is homeless until Luke’s mom helps them buy a trailer. Jobs are few and the family struggles to survive. It’s just them, one couple against the world. Luke has much to atone for and he struggles to connect with his children.

Luke and Darlina face many of life’s challenges head on with a courage and love not seen in many marriages. Somehow, through it all, they conquer their demons and live.

These three books were a profound read. I identified with the times and many of the situations presented in the books. Most of all, I connected with the book’s impact as a true love story told with honesty.

There is one remaining book left to read in the series. I’ll review that separately in another review.

I recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for each book!

About the Author: Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story. Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done. Wrong! The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain. I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and a grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Twenty Years After I Do,” by Author, D. G. Kaye

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Title: Twenty Years After I Do ~ Reflections on Love & Changes After Aging

Amazon Author Page: D. G. Kaye

Publication Date: November 29, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Marriage & Long Term Relationships, Memoirs, Marriage & Adult Relationships, Personal Growth, Spirituality



May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.


Canadian author, D. G. Kaye has written a heartwarming memoir in “Twenty Years After I Do,” detailing the ups and downs of marriage to an older man. I was eager to read this book because I am married to a man who is older than me by a decade. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but having read other books by this author, I knew I was in for a treat.

Kaye shares how she met her husband, Gordon, chronicling how he swept her off her feet with his captivating personality, and how he made her laugh. With a sense of intimacy, the writing draws you in, as if you are listening to a good friend. Their connection, a true love story, (so rare these days) was a joy to experience through her words.

This book is a memoir in the real sense of the word, where the author details her relationship with her husband based on her knowledge of his battle with prostate cancer. As time trudges along, and more health issues crop up, this couple finds themselves confronting their mortality head-on. Most people would crumble under the stress of these burdens, but not Kaye. Because of the love that she and Gordon share they discover that they can overcome whatever life throws at them.

What I enjoyed was Kaye’s willingness to share the innermost details of her life experiences so others could learn from her example. There was no glossing over here, and she does tell it like it is. Ultimately, she leads the reader to the conclusion that love and humor conquer all. I’ve taken many of her insights and tucked them away for future reference.

A quick read, “Twenty Years After I Do,” will touch you with warmth and sincerity, as the phrase “…till death do us part…” takes on new meaning.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:


Author, D. G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).


How to Connect with the Author:


TWITTER:  @pokercubster


heartsThanks for stopping by to meet D. G. Kaye. I loved this book and how this couple overcame adversity with humor and a steadfast love for each other. It’s pure inspiration!

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