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Reading at Home

My Bookshelf

I would not be the writer I am today without being an avid lover of books! My Bookshelf is filled with the ones that showed me through step-by-step instruction or masterful examples, the skills I would need to tell my own stories to you. Click on any of the categories below to go straight to your section of interest or wander the stacks like a true book nerd!

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Writing Reads

Books for Writers

Books for Writers

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

by Stephen King

I adore this book I have read it at least three times, listened to it on audio book twice, and quoted it to my group members countless times. Nobody gets how I feel about writing like Stephen King gets it in On Writing! Must have.

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Self Editing for Fiction Writers

by Renni Browne & Dave King

You want to edit your own work like a pro? Don't just get this book, read it cover to cover and take notes!  It willit will improve your next draft even if it's the first one.

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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

by Anne Lamott

The author journey can be beautiful and cathartic, but also frustrating and lonely. It is comforting to know other authors go through what you are too.

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You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams

by Elizabeth Sims

Finding the middle ground between tome sized outlining and wandering wherever the pen takes you has been a life saver. Easy to read and follow along, I was able to plot right along without losing the discovery of the story. 

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Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books For faster, Better Writing

by Libbie Hawker

Great advice with a no-nonsense delivery and a free online outline tool that follows every step and allows to download once you have completed it. 

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In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop

by Steve Kowit

Want to learn economy of word choice? Evoke vivid imagery? Applying the skills of poetry writing to fiction is how I did it.

Series I Love

Series I Love

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The Remnant Chronicles

by Mary E. Pearson

Strong female characters that you instantly connect with. Rich decadent world building that will put you right in Lia's world with the first page.

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The Throne of Glass Series

by Sarah J. Maas

Let the sassy badassery begin! Each book gets you deeper into the action, political intrigue, and mysterious relationships of the 18-year-old assassin, Celaena Sardothien!

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The Diviners

by Libba Bray

Easily could be my favorite series of ALL time! I listened to this series on Audible and read along with the narration. I was transported to the nightlife and decadence of 1920's New York City with flappers, speakeasies, and murdering ghosts! Libba Bray never dissappoints! This is a must read! 

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The Grimm Star Saga

by J. Darlene Everly

If you are like me, you love a good fairytale retelling. The Grimm Star Saga has all the ingredients of a well-done retelling; just enough nods to the original tale to make the connection, but also its own strong story to keep things fresh and exciting. Did I mention its in space? 

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The Jenna Fox Chronicles

by Mary E. Pearson

Mary E. Pearson has her own shelf in my room. I love her stories so much. This is another I read along with an Audible narrator. With deep themes and amazing characters, this is a young adult science fiction series that has you asking if the tech is there, what would you do to save your loved one?

Outlander Series

by Diana Gabaldon

I can't say enough about this series. It checks the boxes for historical fiction, robust action, and believable romance. The time traveling element  seems so natural it is a master class on weaving a realistic story  around a fantastical  circumstance. 

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Beautiful Creatures Series

by Kami Garcia & Margaretr Stohl

The Southern setting of this series is as much as the characters that tell the story.  I couldn't put these books down. I loved the play between good and evil and how both can and do exist in people we love and the stories of our families. 

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The Lunar Chronicles

by Marissa Meyer

This series made me fall in love with the fairytale retelling in science fiction space. Technologically sound enough to be believable, but not dry and text book. I loved seeing my favorite fairytale princesses forging a new world and rescuing themselves!

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One of Us is Lying

by Karen M. McManus

This series reads like a prime time show you have to binge watch because you can't stop watching. Each chapter you think you know who did it only to change your mind with the next! Also has the best first kiss I have ever read!

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Divergent  Series

by Veronica Roth

Every part of you that felt different, apart, other is celebrated and challenged in these books. The action is on the level with political machinations with an amazing young woman leading the charge.

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All Souls Trilogy

by Deborah Harkness

The All Souls Trilogy worldbuilding is extraordinary. The storyline is smart and sexy. The magic is awe inspiring while still holding true to its rule system! Deborah Harkness wrote her ass off with this series, so much respect for her craft.

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The Infernal Devices

by Cassandra Clare

This is my favorite of Cassandra Clare's Shadow Hunter World Series. Victorian realness keeps it elegant while having a gritty  underbelly that makes this creepy. I became so invested in these characters and their story that I didn't sleep for three days trying to finish it.

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The Dark Queen Saga

by Susan Carroll

This series is shelved in the romance section, but it is so much more than a romantic plot line. Susan Carroll breathes life into the whispered rumors of the court of Catherine De Medici. There is history, magic, and incredible, complex female characters you love getting to know.

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The Hollows Series

by Kim Harrison

Rachel Morgan is the realist badass witch ever! I love everything about this series that takes you through this alternate universe where vampires, shapeshifters, witches and pixies shop at your local grocerie store.

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Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series

by Laurell K. Hamilton

I binged the first ten novels of this series. It had everything I loved in supernatural fiction creatures, monsters, magic, and sexual tension. I have reread the beginning of this series many times.

Stand Alone Fiction Favorites

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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

I read this book for the first time outloud to my middle son when he was in high school. I loved it. The flow of words made me feel like I was sitting on my porch with a glass of sweet tea and gossiping about my neighbors.

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Going Bovine

by Libba Bray

Libba Bray is another prominently featured author on my shelves. No other author I've read gets into the voice of a character better than her. From the very first line of this amazing story, you beieve this 16 year old boy's telling you his story.

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The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Stunning visuals. Some of the most vivid descriptions I have ever read. Warning don't read the blurb on the back or the jacket cover or it will ruin the twist. The Night Circus is a feast for your imagination.

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

by Shirley Jackson

Creepy!!! Shirley Jackson writes with such a lonely ache that  you feel it as you read, it is unsettling. The trajedy of being the exiled. Despite her weirdness you grow to understand and empathize with the odd narrator.

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The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

This is my all time favorte first chapter to read out loud! The opening where our narrator describes the act of writing as becoming one with all the elements from ink to page is mesmerizing. Feels very Agatha Christie meets Hitchcock.

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Lady of the Glen

by Jennifer Roberson

The romance of Alaistair and Catriona against the Scottish Highlands and the tragedy of the Massacre of Glencoe, will forever change how you think about historical romance. It comes complete with a full run through of the actual events that were the inspiration for this tale. Beautiful and moving 

Stand Alone Fiction Favorites

Horror and Thrillers

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A Cry in the Night

by Mary Higgins Clark

I have mad respect for MHC. A Cry in the Night, is one of my favorite thrillers and I have read it multiple times. Can you trust the narrator? Will you scream at the pages knowing you know something the characters don't?  MHC never disappoints.


by Dapne Du Maurier

The intro to this twisted tale is just deliciously gothic. The horror of a finding out your amazing husband is being haunted by the memory of his dead wife is gripping and suspensful. I love this style of thriller.

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Doctor Sleep

by Stephen King

Anyone who talks to me about books for any length of time, learns very quickly that I am SK Superfan. Doctor Sleep is my favorite SK book, followed by the Shining and 11/22/63 tieing for second. I saw every second of this book in vivid color play out in my head. Every character was thought out, well rounded, and believable. The villans of this story fascinated me.

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The Silence of the Lambs

by Thomas Harris

No thriller list is complete without Thomas Harris and his Hannibal Lecter stories. Even though I had seen the movie, TSotL the book terrified me as a young teen who lived and breathed thrillers. Here were examples of real life monsters! I had to pile other books around it just to sleep.

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The Amityville Horror

by Jay Anson

My favorite haunted house story! I love how it reads almost like a true crime novel. Read this for the first time when I got my hands on it at 13 from the public library where my sister and I hung out after school. Read it in the stacks because I was too afraid to bring it home to read. Didn't want my house getting any ideas. 


by John Saul

A sleepy town in Florida at the edge of a swamp is the perfect setting for this horrific story to play out. Evil awaits in this little town for the family that got away. I read this book so many times I broke the spine. It is my favorite vacay read. 

Horror and Thrillers

True Crime

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark

by Michelle McNamara

The obsession of trying to catch an evasive, murdering rapist is all-encompassing. Get swept up with each clue, each lead, and the twists and turns of tracking evil. 

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The Stranger Beside Me

by Ann Rule

Ted Bundy is the face  everyone sees when someone says serial killer. But before he was infamous, true crime writer Ann Rule knew and worked with him never knowing the evil that was beside her, that called her friend.

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by Jeff Guinn

Want to write a convincing villian? Look to the life and times of real life monsters, like Charles Manson. He was charismatic, selfish, and a predator. He turned those he claimed to love into insturments of his darkness, just to see if he could. 

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Helter Skelter

by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry

The Manson Family and there atrocious crimes has fascinated me since I was a little girl and watched the 1970's film, Helter Skelter. Read the book as an adult, so many details that I now know why the Manson Murderers are so terrifying.

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The Road to Jonestown

by Jeff Guinn

The People's Temple went from being an instrument for true social change and voice of ending racial inequality, to one of the most infamous cults of all time when 907 committed "revolutionary suicide" or were poisoned by their loved ones. 

The Riverman

by Robert Keppel

I learned so much about crime and the processes that we use today to find serial killers. It helped me decide on so much with my projects that have a crime element to them. 

True Crime

Romance & Poetry

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The Princess Bride

by Author Name

One of my favorites! Who doesn't want to believe in true love?  I also love that this is a story about teaching a young boy that it is ok to be sucked into the fairytale that is love. 

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Lady for Hire

by Kristy Mickelsen

Sweet, romantic, and a little spicy! Kristy Mickelsen's debut romance will remind you that out of tragedy can come something beautiful.

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She Walks in Beauty

selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy

A woman's journey told through poetry. This collection is moving and beautiful. All my favorite poems live within the pages.

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The Bridges of Madison County

by Robert James Waller

I saw this movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep before I read it. I bawled like a freaking baby! What do you do when you find the love of your life and it is not the right time for your love?

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Water for Elephants

by Sara Gruen

My favorite parts of this story are when the old man is talking about his love with so much tenderness and need.

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The Rose that Grew From Concrete

by Tupac Shakur

Everything you may think you would find in a book of poetry by Tupac is not what you expect. See a whole other side to this amazing rapper.

Romance & Poetry
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