#NewBook: Mountain Laurel Christmas by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3

Hi everyone. Today, it gives me great pleasure to host fellow author, friend, blogger, and Story Empire contributor, Jan Sikes, who wants to tell us about her new book. Take it away, Jan >>>

It has been said many times that you can never go home again. While I think the context of that saying is quite different from what my character has to do in Mountain Laurel Christmas, he faces a powerful urge to return to his roots. Maybe there he’ll find some answers and, if he is lucky, peace.

But the home he remembers is not the same.

Here’s an excerpt:

Three hours later, the moon is rising high in the inky sky over the mountain when I turn down the snow-covered rutted lane that leads to the familiar miner’s shack just over the Kentucky line.

My Firebird hits a snowdrift and flounders. I fight to keep it going. The tires slide into deep ruts, and still, I press forward.

Eventually, I slide to a stop in front of the cabin. The car’s headlights shine on the weathered boards.

A withering hand of death has swept across what was once a home filled with love, laughter, and music.

Thankful for the full moon, I make my way up the rickety steps. Boards are rotting and missing. My boot slips between a large gap I don’t see.

“Dammit.” The fact that I’m more than half-drunk doesn’t help, but I don’t stop.

Inside, I find decaying walls and holes in the wood floor. Varmints have taken up residence.


When a structure is abandoned for any length of time, it falls into disrepair and decay. And that is exactly what my character finds when he returns to the cabin he grew up in.

Have you ever visited an old family home that has been abandoned? The closest I’ve come to that experience is when I moved away from Coleman and left our home. It did fall into a horrible state and was even vandalized. Not a good experience.

Mountain Laurel Christmas Blurb:

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?













50 Comments on “#NewBook: Mountain Laurel Christmas by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3

  1. Congratulations to Jan on her latest release. I’ve been enjoying following her tour, and I loved the book. Sorry I’m late to the party, but I had to stop by and wish her well.
    Thanks for hosting, Harmony!

    • Thank you, Mae, for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. As you can see, I am late answering, so we are in the late club together! 🙂 I appreciate your support!

  2. As Jan so enticingly put it, I had to jump on the magical gypsy wagon and check out this stop. This is another great post from you, Jan. It can be heartbreaking to find your old home in such poor condition. I can’t wait to read this story. Thank you so much for sharing your site with us, Harmony. As Jan said, you are such a supporter!! <3

    • I love the way Jan put it! Thanks so much, Mar. Lovely to have you come visit 💕🙂

    • Thank you Marlena! I appreciate you taking the time to hop on the gypsy wagon and come with me to Harmony’s place!

  3. Harmony what a terrific blog tour stop for Jan’s special Christmas story. I enjoyed this story and the haunting memories of trying to return to the past. I love the highlight’s Jan. I highly recommend this for gift giving this season. Happy Holidays all.

    • Thank you, Rox!! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment, although I am very late in responding, My apologies. I appreciate your support!

  4. Thank you, Harmony, for opening your blog up to me today. I sincerely appreciate your generous support!

  5. It’s hard to see homes you’ve spent years in falling into disrepair. Hope the tour is working well for you, Jan.

  6. Sometimes I’ve driven by abandoned houses and think about the stories they could tell. It’s sad to see one left to waste, but my imagination can certainly come up with a lot of “what ifs?”

    Enjoyed this story very much, Jan. Thanks for hosting, Harmony.

    • I totally agree, Joan. I always think, “if the walls could talk.” The “what ifs” are plentiful. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  7. Every so often, I drive past former homes. They’re all still lived in, but none of the owners care for the properties the way I did. Landscaping is the most noticeable (and disappointing) change. I always wonder what life would have ended up like if we hadn’t moved away from any of those homes.

    Loving your tour, Jan. Wishing you all the best with this release. I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks for hosting, Harmony.

    • That is sadness for sure, Staci, to see homes you poured your heart and soul into being neglected. I finally stopped going by our place in Coleman. It was too painful. It’s fun to imagine how life would be if you still lived there. Thank you for stopping by and for supporting this tour!

  8. I loved this part when he first entered the house 🙂 it was powerful and reflected his emotional state.
    Thanks for hosting, Harmony.

    • That was definitely my goal, Denise. He needed to feel every emotion he’d kept at bay. Thank you for stopping by and supporting the tour!

  9. Another great excerpt, Jan! I’ve actually visited four of my past homes (one in Panama, one in Mississippi, one is Missouri, and one in Virginia). The one in Mississippi was torn down after several floods destroyed its foundation. The ones in Virginia and Missouri were on bases (my dad was in the Army), and they demolished them to build new billeting. The one in Panama was still standing, but it had been stripped of everything after the U.S. handed the base over to the Panemanians. It’s hard to go back to places where you have fond memories and see that others didn’t care for the structures that once held so much fun and love. You captured that well. Thanks for hosting, Harmony! 🙂

    • Time marches on. It is sad to see places we hold pleasurable memories no longer standing. Thank you, Yvette, for stopping by and for following along on the tour!