Jan Sikes shares her post from the end of 2016 where she showcased some of the books she had read.. they say good books are timeless and so I think it is well worth resharing the post as these books are still as good as they were a year ago.
JAN’s TOP TEN Best Books for 2016 by Jan Sikes
Because I have read SO many fantastic books this year, I want to share with you the ones I enjoyed the most. Almost ALL of the amazing books on this list were written by Indie Authors! Just click the cover to buy.
#1 Pennies From Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay
I had no trouble choosing the #1 book of the year for me. For months after I’d finished reading this one, it continued to haunt me. That, my friends, is the sign of a great story!
It is a gripping tale of an eleven-year-old homeless girl, Copper Penny who has lived on the streets with her mother for years. Their “home” is in the cemetery under an Angel statue. Copper awakes one morning to find her mother gone. She can’t find her anywhere and her search takes her into some scary, dangerous and gritty situations. You can read my full review here.
#2 To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday
I didn’t choose this book to sit at #2 because Linda Broday is my sister. I chose it because it is such a HUGE story and the introduction to the Men of Legend Series. Stoker Legend has two sons (as far as he knows) and all he ever wanted was for them to help him run one of the largest ranches in Texas, The Lonestar Ranch. But, Sam Legend, has other desires and wants no roots. He is a hard-as-nails Texas Ranger but, a gang of outlaws hangs him and leaves him for dead. After a mysterious man saves his life, he is forced to return to the Lonestar to recuperate. What happens along the way will have you on the edge of your seat! You can read my full review here.
#3 Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae
This is not a genre I normally read, but I was certainly glad I stepped out of my norm and picked up this book. The characters lingered with me long after I’d finished reading the last page. I couldn’t put it down as the story unfolded. Decker, The Drill, is hardened, tough and ruthless. He’s taken on the role of judge, juror and executioner and is on a mission to get revenge for an injustice that won’t stop haunting him. You can read my full review here.
#4 A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair
I love character driven stories and this book by Mae Clair fits that description. When Eve Parrish returns to Point Pleasant to settle her aunt’s estate, she is in for more than one surprise. The story is based around a tragic bridge collapse that had happened when Eve was just a child. Many lives were lost including her father’s and her best friend. To cope with the loss, Eve’s mother moved them away and this is the first time she’s returned since the tragedy. I will tell you that this book has everything – romance, strong characters, paranormal, murder and a mythical creature. You can read my full review here.
#5 Lodestone Book 1 (Witch Hunt) by Wendy Scott
I love paranormal books and was drawn into this one from page one. I couldn’t stop until I reached the end, and even then, I wanted it to continue. I hope that Wendy Scott is writing a sequel to this book…I will be watching for it. Sabrina has been at the ‘Healing School’ since she was a very small child. She finds herself thrown into chaos at her graduation when she learns she is the direct descendant of Lauren, a woman who is considered evil. She is given a diary, written in Lauren’s own hand, along with a sliver of stone, and is told she must leave the school. Now it is up to Sabrina to unravel the mystery surrounding Lauren’s Order and end its reign of terror. You can read my full review here.
#6 Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks
This is a coming-of-age story about Emily Ann “Baby” Teagarten, who can sing. She has one dream and that is to be on the big stage singing Jazz. When she loses both of her parents within a few short months, the man who takes her under his wing seems to be the answer to her dream. But, as we continue through the story, we see the selfish motives of everyone who claims to want to help her. This is another character-driven book and the tragedies that “Baby” had to endure were heart-wrenching to say the least. You can read my full review here.
#7 Daydream’s Daughter/Nighmare’s Friend by Nonnie Jules
This is a story of unimaginable abuse which eventually leads to murder. My heart broke for this young girl who suffered so much. There seemed to be no escape for her even in adulthood. As the story unfolds, Nonnie takes us inside scenarios that are unfortunately, all too common and all too real in life. You can read my full review here
#8 His Revenge by John Howell
This is the second book in the John Cannon series and again, is not my normal genre to read. However, I loved this book. It is gripping, full of adventure, danger and a high stakes game that can bring this country to its knees. John Cannon, the main character, stumbles into this story simply by chance and where it takes him will keep you on the edge of your seat! You can read my full review here.
#9 Jem by Michelle Abbott
The scars of abuse run deep from childhood to adulthood and Jem carries those scars physically and mentally. All he’s known is hatred and pain except for one, his angel, whose kindness he could never forget. He’s tough and determined not to take any crap from anyone. When his “angel” shows up in the oceanside town where he lives, how can he let her know that he’s never forgotten? This is a gripping romance with plenty of hardcore action to keep you turning the pages. You can read my full review here
#10 Novy’s Son – The Selfish Genius by Karen Ingalls
I gave this story a five star review and believe that every young man, as they come of age, should be required to read it. Murray Clark, the selfish genius, is destined to be a victim his entire life because he never takes responsibility for his own actions. Karen Ingalls takes us through nine decades with Murray’s story and she does it in such a way that the reader never loses interest. She refers to the “Iron John” philosophy throughout the book which turns out to be a story written by Robert Ely as a sort of guide book on how to be a man. Novy’s Son is a MUST READ for all young men! You can read my full review here.
I cannot end this list of amazing books without mentioning one more.
Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) by Nicholas Rossis
This book is an invaluable resource and reference book for all writers. Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.
A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.
This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.
Well, there you have it. I enjoyed these and many more books throughout the year and all but two of these authors I discovered through the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! It pays to belong!
My thanks to Jan for sharing her selection of great reads from 2016 and I hope you will add to your collection.
Books by Jan Sikes
This is the fourth book in her series that follows the life of Texas Musician Luke Stone. Based on the compelling true story of Rick and Jan Stone.
About Til Death Do Us Part
Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times then he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family…which he did. Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin.
His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer will power and the love he has for Darlina. When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.
This is a story of inspiration, endurance and most of all undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them. Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?
One of the excellent reviews for the book
I would like to take a moment to say, Jan Sikes is a ROCK STAR. I had the pleasure of meeting Jan in the Fall of 2016 at a musical festival. I didn’t know who Jan was. All I knew was she showed up behind stage everywhere me and my friend, a photographer, was. At lunch, we sat down with Jan, and I was introduced to her and was told she was a writer for Buddy Magazine. My first thought of Jan was; what a poised, soft spoken lady.
After leaving that day, I looked up Buddy Magazine because I am a huge country music lover and everything that goes with it. I especially love Texas music. In my search for Buddy Magazine, I stumbled upon Jan. I was amazed at who I had met. I had no idea this lady, just another person at the festival was an author … was so full of a history, yet so humble. I wanted to know more about Jan. I read everything I could and that led me to Jan’s first book of her series about her and her now deceased husband, Rick Sikes.
I read the first book, Flowers and Stone in awe. I could have been reading a book about my life in a round about way. I could relate in so many ways, yet so different. Jan pulled in me with her amazing style of writing and sharing her story of a once-in-a-lifetime love story that so few will ever even get the chance to experience. I finished the fourth book, Til Death Do Us Part just last night and I need more.
I need to know the rest of Jan’s life through her writing … Life After Death. I love to read and even though I don’t get enough opportunities to read, I like to read true stories. Jan’s LIFE WITH RICK, aka, LUKE STONE is a MUST read. I can promise you, there is not a page in any of the four books in the series that you will want to take your eyes off of. I feel Jan had laid her life out in the pages and even though only four books can’t come close to reaching the time span of their life, you feel as if you know them and even in a strange way that you lived it with them.
Kudos to Jan for such an amazing series, for the bravery to put down on paper; the love, the life and the ending of her and Rick’s love journey. Even though a person moves from this life to another, they are still with us everyday in many ways and a love and a memory that lasts a lifetime. Like I said, Jan Sikes is a ROCK STAR.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Til-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/0990617947
and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Til-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/0990617947
Also by Jan Sikes
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes
Connect to Jan via her website: https://www.jansikes.com/
Thanks for dropping in today and as always your feedback is welcomed. Thanks Sally