The best science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian stories for the bada** feminist in all of us

Who am I?

I’ve worked in journalism, politics, and public policy for 30-plus years and watched as the extreme voices gained the most traction on either side of a debate. On social media, these minority views often dominate the discussion. 48 States is a stand-alone novel highlighting the problems of extremist viewpoints in a civil society. I also have another book series that features a political consultant who discovers she's a witch and joins a secret society that uses magic to manipulate elections to protect humanity. Bottom line: if I can’t fix political discourse for a living, I can write science fiction novels that contemplate how to do it.


I wrote...

Woman King

By Evette Davis,

Book cover of Woman King

What is my book about?

Nobody who works with superstar political consultant Olivia Shepherd knows that she has supernatural empathic abilities—and that’s just how she likes it. But when she wakes up one morning to find Elsa, an ancient time-walker, standing in her kitchen, Olivia can no longer ignore her gifts or the mystical path that awaits her. She's plunged into the hidden world of the powerful “Others” who operate beneath the dense fog of San Francisco. Drafted to work for the Council, a shadowy organization that controls the fate of humanity, Olivia must decide whether she wants to dedicate herself to its cause. Complicating matters further is Olivia’s new love interest, William, a centuries-old vampire who is too jaded to take an interest in human affairs. Will she rise to the challenge of her destiny?

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Dark Witch

By Nora Roberts,

Book cover of Dark Witch

Why this book?

Can we talk about how amazing Nora Roberts is? I started reading her more traditional romance novels as guilty pleasures when I was younger and quickly realized she loves to write about strong women. The O’Dwyer trilogy is part of her supernatural books, focusing on an ancient curse, a long-held obsession and the enduring power of love. Tucked in a small village in Ireland are a brother and sister, their American cousin, and their circle of friends. Together, witches, warlocks, and humans battle an ancient evil to break a curse that has plagued their family for centuries. Two of the main characters are separated from each other by the curse and their longing is so palpable. I don’t do spoilers, so you will have to read the trilogy to find out what happens. 

Dark Witch

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three cousins inherit a gift that will transform their lives ...Iona Sheehan has just taken the biggest gamble of her life. Leaving her job, her home and her family in Baltimore, she has come to Ireland in search of adventure - and answers. Iona has always felt a powerful connection to the home of her ancestors. So when her beloved grandmother confesses an extraordinary family secret, she can't resist visiting County Mayo to discover the truth for herself. Arriving at the beautiful and atmospheric Castle Ashford, Iona is excited to meet her cousins, Connor and Branna O'Dwyer, for the first…

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Book cover of A Discovery of Witches

Why this book?

I was hooked on the series within minutes of reading the first pages of the first book. I loved the romance between Dianna and Mathew and how it spun out in a contemporary setting. Harkness’ take on searching for the supernatural version of “On the Origin of the Species,” is such a great premise for a book. The story sends the characters off in search of lost objects and into battles with shrewd foes across centuries and continents in which different supernatural species—vampires, witches, and demons—must cooperate with one another, or face extinction. The best part of the series though, is Dianna Bishop and the badass witch and mother she becomes. 

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked A Discovery of Witches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

The Dragon of New Orleans

By Genevieve Jack,

Book cover of The Dragon of New Orleans

Why this book?

What drew me into this series was the first book, The Dragon of New Orleans, where a desperate dragon who has been hexed saves a woman who is terminally ill by giving her his tooth. She turns out to be a powerful witch who is unaware of her powers until they are awakened by the dragon’s magic. I loved the self-discovery that takes place and how as her powers grow she used them to protect her lover. The rest of the series brings in other dragon siblings as well as human and vampire characters in adventures that span several states and another dimension. I have a few more to read. 

The Dragon of New Orleans

By Genevieve Jack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dragon of New Orleans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Polaris Rising

By Jessie Mihalik,

Book cover of Polaris Rising

Why this book?

I just flat out love this writer. Set in a galaxy far, far away, Jesse Mihalik has created a space opera featuring a set of daring siblings with superhuman powers who must battle to survive the cutthroat culture connected to their social status and the machinations of their power-hungry father who is always looking for advantageous alliances, regardless of the consequences to his children. I enjoy that she creates these amazing heroines who are vulnerable but fierce at the same time and they all ultimately find partners who love strong women. 

Polaris Rising

By Jessie Mihalik,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Polaris Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Polaris Rising is space opera at its best, intense and addictive, a story of honor, courage, betrayal, and love. Jessie Mihalik is an author to watch."--Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure-the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has…


Can't Get Enough

By G.A. Aiken,

Book cover of Can't Get Enough

Why this book?

I don't remember how I found this series, but I was immediately taken with the fast-paced romance stories featuring tough-as-nails women who find dragons as their mates. It’s tough to combine blood-thirsty and sexy, but somehow she pulls it off while mixing the species. Of all the series I’ve come across this one probably has the most raw sex, but it seems to work and isn’t too much to take. Sex is such a tricky thing in novels., it really needs to be done well or it’s a distraction. Again what I like in this series, is that the women drive the narrative. 

Can't Get Enough

By G.A. Aiken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can't Get Enough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in feminism, the brain, and romantic love?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about feminism, the brain, and romantic love.

Feminism Explore 213 books about feminism
The Brain Explore 103 books about the brain
Romantic Love Explore 461 books about romantic love

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Midwife's Tale, Anne of Green Gables, and Good Omens if you like this list.