Book Tour: A Beggar’s Bargain by Jan Sikes

Large Banner for A Beggar's Bargain book blog tour April 9-April 18, 2024. Reviews, Author Interview, Excerpts, Guest Post, Giveaways. Book Cover on the right. Book cover: A beggar's bargain. Flat rural landscape with a spotted hound dog  by a rusting old car. Barn in the background with a tree beside it.


The Bargainer Series, Book One
Jan Sikes

Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction
Publisher: Fresh Ink Group
Date of Publication: March 12, 2024
Number of Pages: 324 pages 

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Small banner with wordage: Synopsis
Book cover: A beggar's bargain. Flat rural landscape with a spotted hound dog  by a rusting old car. Barn in the background with a tree beside it.

A shocking proposal that changes everything

Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.

Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time—a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and for time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

Then, the banker makes an alternative proposition—marry his unwanted daughter, Sara Beth, in exchange for a two-year extension. Out of options, money, and time, Layken agrees to the bargain.

Now, he has two years to make a living off the land while he shares his life with a stranger.

If he fails at either, he’ll lose it all.


Promo graphic for the book. New Release! Layken Martin will do anything to save the family farm, even if it means marrying a woman he's never met. Book cover image on the right.

Watch the book trailer on YouTube

Small banner with wordage: Review

The premise of this story – an arranged marriage, two people thrust together who don’t know each other and are in an arrangement that they didn’t choose, and don’t like, is a great premise, and in the very captivating way the story was told, I bought into the difficulty that both the characters faced. The author does a great job in describing the scenes and setting up the inciting incident in the story as well as introducing two very engaging characters.

Descriptions were done very well, too, and I was immersed in the post WWII life of Layken and his grief over the loss of his parents, as well as the challenge he faces to save the homestead. Likewise, I shared Sara Beth’s initial horror and chagrin at the terrible deal her father makes with Layken.

There was only one little quibble with the story as it progressed. That time period was a very harsh time for people, and the folks who scrabbled to farm under such conditions were hard people. Not that they were bad or evil, but they were tough in a way that just didn’t come across totally for the characters in this story.

Maybe that was intentional, to emphasize the kindness and sweetness of Layken and Sara Beth; and maybe I’ve just read too many post WWII stories that had characters dealing with different aspects of PTSD, where they struggled with anger issues that were at odds with an inherent goodness. It would’ve served both of these characters well if they had a little more of that internal angst throughout the story, not just in the first few chapters. Him from the war and her from the horrible betrayal by her father. Once they are settled on the farm, reactions to those two major upsets in their lives are rarely mentioned again.

Still, that issue didn’t interfere with my total enjoyment of A Beggars Bargain. There is so much to like from the vivid descriptions and the slow evolution of the love story, to the accurate portrayal of rural life at that time in history and the way farmers pull together to help each other when tragedy strikes.

The author wove the romantic thread into the fabric of the story so well that it had me smiling at times. I respected the way Layken treated Sara Beth, not forcing himself when he could have easily demanded his husbandly rights. I could relate to Sara Beth and her growing love for Layken that was borne in large part out of the respect he showed her. The way their relationship grew from the initial awkwardness and hesitancy was presented in great endearing detail, up to that wonderful last sentence in the story.

This is a lovely, sweet romance that is sure to please many readers.

If this is your genre, this is your book.

Small banner with wordage: About the Author
Author photo. Smiling woman wil long blond hair wearing a pink blouse under a black jacket.

Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.

She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author, although she’s been an avid reader all her life. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. She brought the entertaining true story to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books, accompanying music CDs, and a book of poetry and art.

And now, this author can’t put down the pen. She continues to write fiction in a variety of genres and has published many award-winning short stories and novels.

Jan is an active blogger, a member of Story Empire, a devoted fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.



Graphic for the Giveaway. Book cover image on the left in a Kindle. Amazon gift card image on the right.


Two winners receive $20 Amazon gift cards;
Two winners receive eBook copies of A Beggar’s Bargain
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 4/19/24)


Promo banner with wordage: A shocking proposal and forced bargain changes everything. Book cover image in the middle. Then: A beggar's bargain by Jan Sikes.

or visit the blogs directly:

04/09/24Forgotten WindsGuest Post
04/09/24Hall Ways BlogBook Trailer
04/10/24The Clueless GentReview
04/10/24LSBBT BlogExcerpt
04/11/24The Book’s DelightReview
04/12/24The Page UnboundAuthor Interview
04/14/24StoreyBook ReviewsTop Ten List
04/15/24It’s Not All GravyReview
04/16/24The Real World According to SamExcerpt
04/17/24Rox Burkey BlogReview
04/18/24The Plain-Spoken PenReview

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9 thoughts on “Book Tour: A Beggar’s Bargain by Jan Sikes”

  1. Love your review, Maryann — quibble and all! My guess is that this author was quite intentional with that aspect of the story. She’s no pantser! I am looking forward to reading the book and awaiting the next in the series. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Glad you liked the review, Kristine. This is a good start to what looks like a terrific new series.
      And, um, hope you have nothing against a pantster. Otherwise…. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your candid thoughts on this book, MaryAnn. I deeply appreciate that you took the time to read and review it! And I am a mixture of plotter and pantser, so, I guess I am a Plotster? 🙂

    1. Happy to have read the book, Jan. I really did like it even with the little quibble. I’m a mixture of pantster and plotter, too, although I tend to stay in the former for a long time before stopping to figure out the last third of a book. With my mysteries, I plan out the crime & criminal then let the lead detectives, well, lead me. 🙂

  3. Maryann, what a lovely review. I adored the softness between Layken and Sara Beth. In this world we live in, we need a lot more softness. Jan put so much “heart” in this story and this couple’s struggle to make sense of this horrible situation really touched me. They’d both seen the worst and wanted something better. By the way, I love your Twitter posts. Some of them make me laugh.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Linda. For the most part I did like the softness between them as far as the romantic thread of the story goes, and I was so captivated by the story initially, I had a hard time putting the book down. It was about half-way through that I realized the characters were missing that facet that would reflect how they were dealing with the traumas in their lives.
      As I said in the review, that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story and I, too, loved the “heart” that is so evident there.
      Oh, gosh, what a sweet thing to say about my Tweets. Thanks! I do try to post a lot of humor, as this world needs a lot more of that, too.

    1. Hope you enjoy the read, Myra. It is a lovely story, and with your interest in Texas history, there’s even more to enjoy.

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