Rox Burkey – Blog Place

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.


Jan Sikes transports readers back in time to Missouri, post-World War II, past the ideal crop planting season, with a determined young veteran. Layken Martin returns home with a small amount of pay from service to his country to learn his parents’ farm is rundown and in debt. He begs the banker for time to save his multigenerational homestead. The self-centered banker makes a deal, forcing Layken to marry his daughter, Sara Beth, for a two-year delay in the foreclosure. Without other options, Layken agrees to the marriage, promising to honor a woman he’s never met.

Sara Beth’s father has scorned her since her mother died, but she has never had any say in her own life. This stunning contract concocted by her father is terrifying to the sheltered woman. She is unafraid of working hard, and her cooking skills and fortitude make Layken feel they could beat the odds by working together. Layken repeatedly illustrates that he is a man of honor who isn’t afraid of hard work. 

Planting peanuts was supposed to be Layken’s and Sara Beth’s way out of foreclosure, but they are immersed in unexpected and severe challenges. These tests reveal their fortitude and provide a glimpse into the close-knit life of farming communities.

Sikes vividly describes the humble house, barn, and surrounding land, immersing readers in the setting. The smell of meals, the sound of the radio, the quaint lifestyle, and the dust from the too-dry ground come to life.  Layken and Sara Beth will capture readers’ hearts and are complemented by supporting characters like Uncle Seymour, who knew Sara Beth’s mother.

Fans of historical American fiction will delight in the unfolding story set in the Great Plains of the United States. It depicts the daily struggles of farmers who persevered by growing crops to feed others, lending a helping hand to their neighbors, and finding love in unexpected places. This charming story can be read as a standalone but also highlights the honesty and resilience of a community that overcomes adversity. A Beggar’s Bargain is an excellent choice for an engaging and pleasurable read.

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.



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    4 replies to "A BEGGAR’S BARGAIN"

    • Jan Sikes

      A million thanks, Rox, for this wonderful review! I am so glad you enjoyed this story and appreciate your support!

      • RoxBurkey

        Jan, the start to this series a great. Looking forward to the next. Thank you for stopping in.

    • Linda Broday

      I agree wholeheartedly with everything in your review, Rox. This is a phenomenal story that deeply touches your heart and makes you appreciate the struggles our ancestors made in carving out a life worth living. Times were hard in 1947. A lot harder than today. I’m glad readers are seeing what I did. Huge congrats to Jan!

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Linda, so glad you stopped by. Jan is running in high gear.

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