The best blood-curdling, time travelling adventures you’ll want to sink your teeth into

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Miriam, and I write—wait for it—historical fantasy fiction. I know, a bit of a mouthful. And, because of my love for Scotland, I decided to set my novel there, in the beautiful village of Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond. When writing in this genre, I’m not tied or limited to what I can create. All you need is imagination! In times of crisis, as we live and struggle in the real world and are faced with hardship, it’s nice to escape from it, once in a while, whether it’s to pick up a book or watch, yes, Lord of the Rings, or whichever fantasy world takes your fancy.

I wrote...

The Sixth Amulet

By M. A. Maddock,

Book cover of The Sixth Amulet

What is my book about?

Oran Shaw is a reluctant Warlock who wants nothing more than a peaceful life, having left his turbulent one behind. He’s determined to live it—among mortalsand away from the watchful eye of his council—The Elliyan. However, the past has a way of catching up; when Oran sires a gifted child, who is destined to be the greatest of all Warlocks—The Magus—sinister forces from Oran’s past soon resurface, threatening everything he knows and loves. Things are about to get more complicated for the Warlock when he then discovers the face behind the ‘threat’ and realises there is something they want and will do anything to claim it—the precious object that has sealed his son’s fateThe Sixth Amulet.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Dracula

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

Perhaps I’m being biased, because I’m Irish and live in Dublin, where Bram Stoker’s famous work was written, but this masterpiece is simply that. Stoker stirs the senses throughout his hauntingly, tragic tale, which is set in Transylvania, evoking feelings inside us of uncontrollable power, eternal love (the Count’s obsession with Mina will have you torn), all married together by the fear of death—and the undead—and all masterfully done through the eyes (or fangs!) of his Prince of Darkness. If, like me, you’re a lover of the dark and depraved world of vampires, Dracula will turn your blood cold and have you looking over your shoulder (yes, I found myself doing this, which means the author has done his job, superbly!), as well as checking in the mirror… A classic read that will not disappoint. 

By Bram Stoker,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 17.

What is this book about?

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries…

Book cover of Outlander

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

With its mixed theme of fantasy and history, and set in Scotland (a place dear to my heart), I snatched up a copy of Outlander after it was recommended. Gabaldon’s descriptive writing style lures you into a different world, giving you a sense of ‘reality’, making you feel you are there. Outlander—the start of an epic saga—is centred around its two main characters, Claire Randall and James Fraser, who are brought together by a strange phenomenon when Claire walks through one of the mystical standing stones in Inverness, Scotland, and is hurdled back in time (two-hundred years). I absolutely love this blend of fact and fiction. While we’re enjoying the fantasy element attached to the story, wondering if Claire will ever get back to her time, we are also getting a wee history lesson of the goings on in the lives of Lairds, spies, and Jacobites. This is a thrilling ride of love, lust, hate, betrayal, etc. It has it all. Love it!

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Outlander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…

Book cover of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

This is one book where, by the end, I was absolutely convinced that Abraham Lincoln actually hunted and killed vampires, on the side. It’s cleverly written, and the photographs (actual photos) were photo-shopped, to give the story an authentic feel to it. Gifted with his legendary height, and axe (of course!) Abraham sets out, hell-bent on revenge, after discovering that his beloved mother had actually been killed by a vampire when he was a boy. The book is full of facts, giving us a history lesson on Abe Lincoln’s life, from when he was a boy until his assassination, in 1865. It also tells us of his campaign to stamp out slavery and his rise to become the sixteenth—and one of the most influential—president of the United States of America. Thoroughly enjoyable, and believable! 

By Seth Grahame-Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Abraham Lincoln as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call 'Milk Sickness'. 'My baby boy ...', she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, 'henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have…

Book cover of Interview with the Vampire

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

Ever seen the movie? The one with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt? If not, read the book first, then watch it. Anne Rice (who, sadly, is no longer with us) is up there with Bram Stoker. Interview begins when a modern-day journalist snaps up the opportunity to interview a ‘real’ vampire—Louis (Brad Pitt)—where he discovers the story, and truth, behind the sensual, immoral, and evil world of vampires. We are then enticed into Louis’ world, where he tells us about Lestat (Tom Cruise) a malicious vampire who ‘created’ the “beautiful Louis” by turning him into a vampire, purely for his own vanity. We then find ourselves embroiled in their sumptuous, and blood-thirsty, journey. However, as time goes by, Lestat and Louis soon find themselves constantly looking over their shoulder; they are being watched by other ‘creatures’ similar to them. But who are they? Only Lestat knows. A great read with a deep insight into the dark and disturbing world of the undead.

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Interview with the Vampire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Anne Rice, this sensuously written spellbinding classic remains 'the most successful vampire story since Bram Stoker's Dracula' (The Times)

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life - the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

When Interview with the Vampire was published the Washington Post said it was a 'thrilling, strikingly original work of the imagination . . . sometimes horrible, sometimes beautiful, always unforgettable'. Now, more than forty years since its release, Anne…

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

Frodo Baggins. Who doesn’t know Frodo Baggins, the wee hobbit who inherited a powerful gold ring from his uncle Bilbo, not realising the immense task placed upon him by the ‘trinket’. And so, along with his trustee pals, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, Frodo sets off on an adventure, leaving his home—The Shire—for the first time, to embark on what turns out to be the most treacherous and dangerous journey of his life. But Frodo isn’t alone. When a band of unusual characters, including a wizard, a dwarf, and an elf, are chosen to accompany Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring begins their epic journey to the depths of Mordor, so Frodo can destroy the ring. But the evil Sauron, and his army of orks, stand in their way. I think Lord of the Rings is high up there on any readers’ list who loves a good, and well-crafted, tale. I’m a huge fantasy fiction fan, and LOTR, along with all my recommendations, was a huge influence on my own writing, which is why I chose to write in this similar genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…

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The Pact

By Lisa Darcy,

Book cover of The Pact

Lisa Darcy Author Of The Pact

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Why am I passionate about this?

Author Cat lover Traveler Reader Amateur tennis player Foodie

Lisa's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Pact is a contemporary fiction novel about Australian sisters, Samantha and Annie, who are doubles tennis champions. This story amplifies the usual sibling issues and explores their professional partnership and personal relationships – similarities, differences, motivation, competition, abandonment, and grief – and how they each respond to the stress of constantly being under the media spotlight.

What happens when, at the pinnacle of fame, it all falls apart?

With dreams shattered and egos destroyed, how do they cope?

I have an older sister and although our rapport isn’t as dramatic, or as close, for that matter, I was able…

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