Jan’s TOP TEN Books 2017



For_You_To_See_The_Stars   PURCHASE LINK

Hands down, this book easily takes the #1 spot this year. This is Foster’s first print publication. It is classic storytelling at its best. Foster writes with an uncommon depth of emotion, humor, empathy, and clarity.  Adding another dimension to this collection of short stories, Foster, a seasoned songwriter/musician, recorded a music CD which accompanies the book. Together, they make an unforgettable read/listen!











PURCHASE LINK Heart of a Texas Cowboy

PURCHASE LINK To Marry a Texas Outlaw

Yes, I know there are two books sitting in this spot, but I couldn’t find a way to separate them. This “Men of Legend” series was amazing from beginning to end, and it just happens that parts two and three were both released this year. “Some Legends are born and some are made” describes this series perfectly about a father, Stoker Legend and three sons, Sam, Houston, and Luke. Houston struggles to deal with the death of his bride-to-be in “The Heart of a Texas Cowboy.” I won’t tell you what happens, but a woman and baby girl manage to melt the ice that froze his heart. In “To Marry a Texas Outlaw,” Luke Weston is determined to clear the murder pinned on him and finally be able to step up and claim his birthright, the Legend name. But, he didn’t bargain for the spirited woman who would set his plans awry. In each book of this series, you’ll find lots of old west action, honor, and romance.


Empty Chairs    PURCHASE LINK

This true story from Stacey Danson (aka Suzanne Burke) touched me on such a deep level. It is a tale of horrific child abuse and how one young girl took matters into her own hands and hit the streets of Sydney, Austrailia. The dangers that lurked on the streets were less frightening than what she faced at home, or as she referred to it in the book, “hell central.” This book has 390 reviews on Amazon. That alone is a testimony to the power of this deeply personal story.



The number four is an Angel number and nothing could be more appropriate for this amazing book. The author worked for many years as a psychic detective, assisting with some of the most gruesome cases you can imagine. But, her “near-death” experience as she relates it in this book is extraordinary. I can promise that this book WILL change the way you view death.


Love The Beat Goes On  PURCHASE LINK

I have read a lot of new-age books over the years and got something good from each of them, but this book by Lynda Filler is extraordinary. Her honesty about the journey from receiving a death sentence for an incurable disease to healing in a rainstorm while a Shaman beat on his drum is not just compelling, but astounding. I loved every fragment of this story.


Circumstances of Childhood final front  PURCHASE LINK

There seems to be a somewhat common thread running through my book selections this year. This story from John W. Howell incorporates a ghost as one of the main characters, and he weaves it all together perfectly. The ending of the story is done in true Howell fashion with an unpredictable and “thriller” conclusion.


letting_go_into_perfect_love    PURCHASE LINK


This was the first book I read in 2017 and the uplifting story never left me. The author shares deep personal accounts of heartbreak, discovery, and inspiration. How she chose to rise above the many years of abuse to find self-love is encouraging as well as empowering.


Slivers_Of_Life  PURCHASE LINK

Slivers of Life could not be a more appropriate title for this compilation of short stories from Author, Beem Weeks. Each is like a slice of pie from the whole or pages ripped from someone’s book. I thought I had found my favorite story with “Medal Detector,” but the next chapter, “Forget Me (Not Fade Away)” had me in tears. Emotion drips from the exquisite way Beem weaves his words together to create the stories, and he is a master at ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ If you are a lover of emotionally driven ‘too-human’ stories, this book is for you. It’s easy to read, but the stories linger long after you’ve turned the last page.


Sweet Temptation  PURCHASE LINK

I have read all the books in Sarah Stuart’s Royal Command Series, and until I read Sweet Temptation, my favorite of the series was the first book, Dangerous Liaisons.
Michael Marsh, the Diamond Superstar has millions of fans across the globe, but he’s lonely. When his wife, Lizzie, was murdered in front of him, his world shattered. He didn’t believe he could ever love again. That is until detective Evie Taylor, walked into his office. The author weaves a tangled web of deceit, powerful illusions, and cyberstalkers. Action from start to finish.


This Second Chance eBook Cover  PURCHASE LINK

Again, this story stays with the paranormal thread from my year’s reading. Rachael finally has a chance at happiness with a man who adores her, but strange phenomena continue to occur. Little does she know there is an Angel, the ghost of her ex-husband and an evildwel that are hard at work in the background. The author takes the reader on quite a journey as it all unfolds.


Tempest In Texas  PURCHASE LINK

You read the title correctly. This is a Screenplay by Larry Landgraf adapted from his novel, Into Autumn, A Story of Survival, and it deserves to be on the big screen! We all hear apocalyptic stories – about what could happen if and when our social and economic infrastructures collapse, but Larry Landgraf takes us inside that “what if” world with real people, in what could be real life circumstances.

Trust me when I say it was difficult choosing from so many great books to create this TOP TEN. A lot of the authors listed here are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, a place where authors are supported, promoted and lifted up. 

53 thoughts on “Jan’s TOP TEN Books 2017

  1. Wow, excellent list, Jan. I’ve read four of these and have two others on my Kindle and my TBR pile. So many good selections, and your reviews are fabulous. Oh, if only for more reading hours in the day!

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, I am both delighted and humbled to have my memoir “Empty Chairs” included among these awesomely talented authors! And the fact that you are so talented yourself makes the pleasure so much the sweeter. Thank you so much, and my congratulations to all these fine writers. What a lovely way to begin my New Year! Thank You!😊❤️️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind acknowledgment, Jill. I have Second Chance Romance on my Kindle and it has become a “must read.” All the best to you and yours for this momentous New Year. ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve read more book in 2017 than I have in some time. I guess you could say I’m getting back into it. Means I’ll be stopping by more often. Happy New Year to you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Fiction Favorites and commented:
    Jan Sikes has named Circumstances of Childhood in her Top Ten list for 2017. Jan is a talented writer and musician and is currently featuring Stories from the Road written by her late husband Rick. Visit her blog and you will find a host of excellent books she has written. Thank you, Jan. A wonderful New Year present.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jan…oh WOW! Thank you so much. What an honor to have these included with so many talented writers. I agree that Radney Foster’s needed to be #1. What an amazing book and CD. Not a bad story or song in the bunch. He makes me think. I’m just thrilled that these Legend men found a place in your heart. I couldn’t have written these stories without your expert eye and constant support. You read no matter when I sent you chapters, even late at night when you wanted to be in bed. I’m so very thankful to have you. You’re my rock, the one who anchors me. And I love you more than words can say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, sister, I just now saw this and you made me cry. I love reading your chapters. I get invested in the characters too. 🙂 I am privileged to be on this journey with you and so glad we got to be sisters in this life. I wish you ALL good things in 2018 and I love you!


  5. Thank you Jan for including This Second Chance on your list. I was completely surprised and honored. It was a great way to wake up on the last day of the year, too:) I have only read Gwen’s book and completely agree it is a book that stays with you and I want to go back and re-read it! What wasn’t already on my Kindle from your list– I added. Going to be a great new year of reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy New Year, D.L.! I included This Second Chance because I enjoyed it and the story was well-written. 🙂 I’m glad you added some new reading to your Kindle. I’m not sure mine could hold anymore.:) Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Congrats to you as well, Linda! I look forward to reading your books in the new year. Thank you, I hope your new year is inspiring too:)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I included Love The Beat Goes on because of the inspiring way it affected me. The links at the end of the book have been wonderful. I love the Shamanic practice and always feel uplifted after tuning in to one. I send you light, and love as you find the purpose and lessons for the sadness. Writing is therapy! I wish you a peaceful 2018!


  7. Thanks so much Jan. To wake up to your list this morning and find LOVE The Beat Goes On is particularly poignant for me. I struggle this New Years as my “Cowboy” deals with life and death health and my heart is overwhelmed with sadness. Still, I write and write some more hoping that in losing myself my novels and memoir help someone else enjoy hours of crazy and ‘aha’ moments. Thanks again for your beautiful review and choosing LOVE to be a part of books that “affected you and lingered long after the last page.” Much love in the New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you, Jan, for including my book on your list. I’m deeply humbled and honored to be one of your Top 10. I’ve read several of the books mentioned and will add the others to my Kindle. Have a very blessed New Year and thank you again for this beautiful recognition. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hello Jan- well 2 of your top 10 books are in my 2 top ten. The Heart Of A Texas Cowboy And To Marry A Texas Outlaw. Oh my Those 2 books stand out to me, because The Men Of Legend weaved their way into my heart.
    My others I read this year that I highly suggest are Kari Lynn Dell’s Texas Rodeo Series.. Reckless In Texas, Tangled In Texas, & Tougher In Texas, Plus a Stand-alone by Kari called The Long Road Home.
    I also read many great books by Shanna Hatfield, but my favorite was Learn’ The Ropes.
    Dee Burk also melted my heart with her book Custom Made Cowboy.
    Jan I want to wish you a great and prosperous 2018. I can’t wait to read a new book from you.
    Love & Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tonya, thanks for your kind words about my Men of Legend. I appreciate having you read my stories. I totally agree about Kari Lynn Dell. What a writer! Dee’s Custom Made Cowboy was also very good. Wishing you tons of love and happiness as you live each day of 2018! May an inspiring light shine on you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Jan
    Thank you for including Sweet Temptation in your list.
    I already have John’s Circumstances of Childhood on my Kindle – I will review it John, but my TBR is long.
    I must add these to it, starting with Empty Chairs. The title had “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” from Les Mis running in my head before I read the blurb’

    Liked by 2 people

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