The Heart's Journey Home by Nikki Jackson – Excerpt + Giveaway @journey4home


BookCover_TheHeartsJourneyThe Heart’s Journey Home by Nikki Jackson

It’s summer vacation, and all seventeen-year-old Tori Logan wants to do is hang out with her two best friends, practice her mixed martial arts and go to FBI spy camp. Summer means freedom (mostly from adults) and Tori plans to fill every spare moment of her last summer before graduating from High School with all the fun things she and her best pals can come up with.

Tori, whose mom died of breast cancer when she was young, has always relied on her own strength to get by – especially because her Archeologist father tends to leave her behind with his live-in girlfriend while he gallivants around the world on digs. Thankfully, Tori can take care of herself. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Her Lakota Sioux grandfather, a former Navy SEAL, trained Tori in self-defense from a young age. Now, as a teenager, Tori excels at mixed martial arts and the use of various weapons. During the summer she will be attending an FBI sponsored Summer Camp which she hopes will lead to her dream job – becoming an FBI serial killer profiler.

With her two best friends at her side, Tori believes she can handle anything. And with summer vacation stretching before them, the trio plans to find plenty of adventure.

But while Tori is determined to be independent, life has other plans for this fierce young woman, and they include coming to grips with some hard – and surprising – truths about both her past and her future.


Excerpt One:

I could really use a belt. Fin thought as he jumped from the porch, bounding over the five steps. Running down the graveled drive at break-neck speed he cursed the fact he was wearing tennis shoes – that along with the baggy, beltless pants was hemming up his stride.

The sound of shrieks and a male voice yelling at him in a foreign language didn’t help the matter. Fin tripped over his own size 12 feet, rolled and got up running. After gathering his wits about him he heard a muffled roar zoom past him followed by a streak of green. He was unsure of what it was but he was too scared to try to figure it out – he was running now – minus the jeans and a tennis shoe.

Fin all but dove into his Camaro thankful he’d left the keys in the ignition and not in his pants pocket. He turned the key and sped down the drive, kicking dirt and gravel in his wake. In his rear-view mirror he could see the crazy man chasing him with the longest, sharpest sword he’d ever seen.

Making it to the end of the drive, Fin did a complete donut, spun the vehicle around in the right direction and then tore off down the street. Tori had grabbed his errant shoe and AJ leaned down to scoop up the jeans, then the two of them tore down the drive after Fin.

My Ten Favorite Movies

My ten favorite movies aren’t in any particular order except for To Kill a Mockingbird which is my all-time favorite. The others are more listed than ranked.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. The Sting
3. Aliens (2nd movie of the series)
4. West Side Story
5. Apollo 13
6. Divergent
7. The Storm of the Century
8. Dispersible Me
9. Psycho
10. The Terminator

I have rather eclectic tastes in movies. My tastes range as far back as such Turner Classic black & white greats as – The Adventures of Robin, Hondo, The Yearling, Sunset Boulevard, The Great Escape and Fail Safe. I love such musicals as West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cinderella (the Brandy one), Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast. Those minions cracked me up in Despicable Me, I’ve seen How to Train Your Dragon, The Incredibles and Brave more times than I’m probably willing to admit and if the Disney movie Tangled is on tonight, I’m there. As for the holidays the must see multiple times for me are – Alf, and all the versions of A Christmas Carol. I love movies. Next to my dream of becoming a published author is the dream of writing a screenplay that actually shows up on TV, a Broadway stage or in a theater (preferably all three).

Personally, I feel my being an avid movie-goer helps me to be a better writer. As a fiction writer everything is about the worlds I imagine in my head – the characters, the stories with their intricate plot lines and the scenes that are so descriptively conveyed in bold and living colors. All that and more is inside my head and movies helped to put it there.

Writing is an art. Sure, it’s a talent or a gift, it’s a wonder when it’s being done well but at the end of the day I honestly feel it’s an art form. It conveys a story and evokes emotion. It snatches you up and engages you. It makes you shake your head and marvel in quite the same way a painting or photograph, a statue, blown glass or intricately sculpted metalwork stops you in your tracks and captures that part of you that’s entranced by beauty. Unlike movies that are so visually present for the viewer, the writer has to create all of that visualness in the reader’s mind. We have to make you see the aqua-clear ocean, smell the field of bright blazing wildflowers, feel the solitary tear rolling down the face of the main character – experience her anguish, feel her peace and joy. We writers know we have to engage all your senses or you won’t stay.

Writing is an art so long as it’s done well. Well and true with the reader in mind and at heart. Writing has to be more than just a journey the writer wants to take you on, it must be an adventure they want you, the reader, to experience.

I love movies. I love books. I love the pure art of both.

About the Author

Ever since she was young, Nikki Jackson has loved reading and the way that books allow you to journey on wonderful adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become a writer to enable others to experience the magic of books—and The Heart’s Journey Home is the result.

In addition to writing, Nikki Jackson is a contract worker for General Motors. She and her husband currently live in the Detroit metropolitan area.


Nikki Jackson will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. For your chance to win, enter below. After you enter here, be sure to click the tour banner at the top of the post to follow along on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


28 comments / Add your comment below

    1. I don’t really think I have a talent other than writing but if you asked my siblings what bizarre behavior I have they’d likely say it’s me watching the same movie over and over again. If Apollo 13 is on its a given I’m going to watch it. If it’t on back to back then I’ll watch it again. They usually moan and groan “You’re not watching that again?” or “aren’t you tired of that yet?” I usually start reciting the dialogue right along with the movie and they just leave me alone.

    1. Great question Amber, as a matter of fact yes! I listen to forest sounds that’s paired with background music (typically classical music). You-Tube has tons of music with this combination. I can sit and write for hours. I find that it’s very conducive to creating. Another favorite – don’t laugh, the burning log. There’s the one with just the crackling of the fire or the one that has background music. I usually go with the background music.

    1. William it’s a wonderful read if I may say so myself! Its a really fun book with a few twists, turns and reveals thrown in. The Kindle verson is only $5.99 so it’s a lot of book for a great price.

  1. I enjoyed the excerpt and the list of movies and what a list, very eclectic and I agree with the Aliens it was the best. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Judy, Panera Bread is my favorite writing spot. I just love the atmosphere and vibe and of course I love the caramel lattes!

  2. Great post! I’m with you on To Kill A Mockingbird.. both the book and movie were awesome!!! Thanks or sharing 🙂

    1. I was just channel surfing and you won’t believe what’s coming on tonight? Yep, To Kill A Mockingbird! Life is good ?

  3. I really enjoyed the excerpt and getting to learn more about Nikki. Thank you, Nikki, for stopping by and chatting with my readers and for sharing your ten favorite movies. 🙂

  4. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the guest post! This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  5. I think this sounds like a fun read about a young but strong and determined woman. One of my favorite movies is To Kill A Mockingbird too. Such a great book and movie. Thank-you for this generous chance. 🙂

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