New Release: “Saddled Hearts” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #romance

I am thrilled to have friend and fellow Story Book Empire Author, Jan Sikes, here today to celebrate the new release of her book, “Saddled Hearts.” Here is my review: LINK

Denise, I am super excited and honored to be visiting your blog site today. Thank you so much for offering to let me take over. Your support is much appreciated.

I love including animals in my stories. They can add so many opportunities for a deeper look into the characters or sometimes a bit of humor. In Saddled Hearts, Colt Layne has two Australian Shepherds, Mattie and Sheila. Since I love well-behaved dogs, I add that into their character. They are loyal and devoted and are helpful with ranch work. I first introduced them in Jagged Feathers.

Here’s a few of examples.


Gravel crunched under tires in the driveway, and Mattie and Sheila raised a ruckus on the front porch. Colt set his guitar on a nearby stand. “Sounds like we have company.”

He strode to the door and called to the two dogs. They stopped barking but kept their ears straight up and eyes on the vehicle that belched black smoke as it came to a stop.


Once she’d settled, she called to the dogs. They didn’t waste a second in joining her.

Leaning over, she rubbed both of their heads and backs. “They’re so well-behaved.”

“I started teaching them when they were pups. Do you have any pets?”

“I have two cats, Bella and Luna. They’re probably wondering where I am about now.”

“Animals can become like family. I’m lucky to have two such smart children.”

Sage threw back her head and laughed. “Children? That’s an odd way of referring to them, but it fits.”


He reached her as she stepped out of the car. With no hesitation, he pulled her into a warm embrace. “You made it.” The dogs ran in a circle around them, stirring up dust. “Girls, sit,” Colt commanded. They obeyed with soft whimpers, never taking their eyes off Sage.


Fierce barking from Mattie and Sheila brought Colt to his feet. He propped the guitar against a chair, then strode out onto the front porch.

“What’s got you so riled up, girls?” Probably a raccoon or opossum.

They ran along the perimeter of the large porch and back again, barking.

Colt’s nostrils twitched. Smoke!

But where was it coming from? He made a beeline around the porch to the backside of the house, and spit dried in his mouth. The back pasture glowed with flames.


Mattie and Sheila also helped round up rogue cattle in another scene in the book. I loved creating both of them. I’ve had dogs throughout my life but one in particular stands out. She was a Doberman named Penny. At first, I was afraid of her, but she turned out to be the most loving and loyal animal. Right now, I have four granddogs. One is quite elderly and not in good health, but I love to see them, and they always respond to that love. Do you have animals, or is there a special animal that stands out in your memory? Let’s talk!


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.







54 thoughts on “New Release: “Saddled Hearts” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #romance”

    1. I was so happy to be a part of your tour and spread the word on your wonderful story. Perfect post with the dogs, I fell in love with them and the ranch.

  1. I’m glad to see your blog tour going so well, Jan! I had a Shepherd/Chow mix named Teddy Bear who got me through some very rough times. She’ll always hold a very special place in my heart.

    1. Awww, how sweet, Liz. Thanks for sharing. Animals have the innate ability to help us with their unconditional love. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

    2. Our dog we lost this year was a Sheperd mix and holds that special place in my heart too, Liz. They do get us through those tough times, I agree.

  2. I love it when pets are included in stories. I think they add depth to our characters. I loved Mattie and Sheila. We once had a neighbor who had an Australian Shepherd. He was such a smart dog. Adorable too.

    1. I agree with you, Joan. Animals can add so much to a story. My sister once put a parrot in a story and that was super fun. Lots of opportunity for humor. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I appreciate your support.

    2. I love it too, Joan when animals are included in stories. There is more depth and insight into their human companions.

  3. I too love animals in stories. I know kids especially connect to animals so I made sure there is at least one in each Amanda Travels books. Ali Baba the camel has been very popular in the Arabia adventure, as well as Rupert the Maine Coon cat in the England story. Of course I have my two rescue dogs, Dot and Lia that are my world right now. Another great stop on the tour. Australian Shepherds are amazing dogs!

    1. I’m a huge fan of animals in stories too, Darlene 🙂 You caught my curiosity about a camel and especially a Maine Coon cat. I miss having dogs since we lost ours in June, they do become part of the family. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

    2. I completely agree, Darlene, that children especially relate to animals. How interesting that you put such different animals in your Amanda books. I love that. Thank you for sharing and hugs to Dot and Lia!

    1. Awww, I love hearing those words, Jacqui. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit here today in the midst of your own tour. It means a lot. I also appreciate the added recommendation! Hugs!

  4. Another fun day on the tour! I love when an author includes animals in a story. They always add so much and also help further define the personalities of the characters.
    Congratulations to Jan on her wonderful release. I loved Saddled Hearts!

    Thanks for hosting today, Denise.

    1. Thank you, Mae. I totally agree that animals can help show the character’s heart in a story. I would never be able to write about someone who abused an animal. It would break my own heart. I appreciate you stopping by and adding your recommendation!

    2. I love that too, Mae 🙂 It can really offer a mirror into a characters heart. I’m so happy to be sharing this post and Jan’s latest great read.

  5. Animals are so special! I love that you include them in your stories, Jan. It really does add something special. Denise, thank you so much for hosting & sharing your site with everyone!

    1. Very special because they know how to access our hearts so easily, Mar 🙂 Happy to share the news of Jan’s latest success.

  6. It’s great to see Jan here, Denise. Animals were a fun part of the book and the dogs were great additions. They served the story in a lot of different ways – watch dogs, workers, companions. I enjoyed this book, and the tour has been fun to follow. Congrats to Jan.

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