A #NewRelease by Jan Sikes: MOUNTAIN LAUREL CHRISTMAS #HolidayFiction @jansikes3

Mountain Laurel Christmas

Ciao, amici! I’m delighted to host friend, fellow author, and Story Empire colleague Jan Sikes today. Jan’s work always reaches out and grabs me by the heart. Her latest is no different, a poignant tale perfect for the holidays. Here she is to tell you all about it. Please help me give her a warm welcome.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “all that glitters is not gold.” In this short story, my character has made it big in the country music world, and he has everything that comes with fame and fortune.

Yet, while he is living his dream, a deep part of him is empty, hollow, and tortured. A current music song playing on the radio has a line that says it all, “never alone, always lonely.”

Here’s a short excerpt:

The Grand Ole Opry has never felt so welcoming. Hundreds of music fans face me. Hot blinding stage lights, and the solid bass drum thumping behind me, give me an adrenaline high like nothing else. And have since 1969.

Six years. Yet, it seems like a lifetime. God, I feel old at twenty-six. But I made it to where I always dreamed of going.

Performing my music is the closest feeling of home I ever get.

* * *

I sing my heart out, then come back for an encore.

I close out the show, pose for the required photos, and hurry to change into comfortable jeans and a shirt, throwing on my soft leather jacket. Loneliness engulfs me.

Now I can have that drink.

Like so many stars, Cole is always surrounded by adoring fans. But they cannot take the place of genuine relationships. And loneliness is a constant companion, even in a room full of people.

Have you ever experienced that feeling? In a crowd, but alone? I am sure it can be exhausting.

About Mountain Laurel Christmas:

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family? 





Didn’t that excerpt just grab you? I know when I read that section, I needed to know what misery he was trying to drown. I devoured the story to find out.

I hope you find the passage as compelling as I did. Please take a moment to leave your thoughts and wish Jan well. Take special note of the last graphic. A comment and a share make you eligible to win an Amazon gift card. Good luck! Saluti!

78 thoughts on “A #NewRelease by Jan Sikes: MOUNTAIN LAUREL CHRISTMAS #HolidayFiction @jansikes3

  1. Pingback: WINNER! Mountain Laurel Christmas #BlogTour – Writing and Music

  2. I am more eager than ever to read your story, Jan, and will, as soon as I finish Yvette’s new release. The excerpt certainly makes the reader feel his loneliness and dissatisfaction with life as a star. Who hasn’t felt alone in a crowd? Staci, thank you for hosting Jan today.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh the Grand Ole Opry… that takes me back. Long before it became a massive shopping mall, there was an amusement park called Opryland. We used to go every year as a family when we were little. I once had the chance to hop up on that same stage and partake in a group Twist & Shout dance. What a great trip down memory lane. Makes me want to read your story even more and I so look forward to it. Staci, thank you so much for hosting on your site.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. For me, this was a perfect short read at the end of the night. Cole lived with a lot of guilt, but he deserved a lot of credit, too. He tried to be there for his mom, but the ending gave me the warm fuzzies! A perfect holiday read.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another wonderful tour stop, Jan! I’ve really been enjoying the excerpts you’ve been sharing. The whole story is wonderful, such a perfect read for this time of year. I really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a heart-warming holiday tale.
    Great job hosting, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A wonderful showcase of Jan and her book, Staci. For years I turned to my guitar to sing about life’s ups and downs. It was a friend, someone I could talk to freely. A couple of years ago, I gave it to my youngest son, and now he does the same. Congratulations, Jan! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have felt that alone in a crowd feeling many times. Having anxiety with rumination has given me that feeling many times. I have this story on my kindle and can’t wait to read it. Great excerpt, Jan. Thanks for hosting, Staci! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 5! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music – Writing and Music

Your turn...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s