The best books to escape a stressful day

Who am I?

I’ve read thousands of books, so I really appreciate genre-bending books that break away from the tried and true plots. I like mixing werewolves and elves in my own work, and world-building is great fun, yet difficult to do, so it’s a treat when it’s done well. Writing an engaging character is a talent, and making a reader care about their story is a skill. It’s a gift to readers when we find that rare book that will keep us coming back, knowing that this is the medicine we need to escape a stressful day.


I wrote...

Bramble Burn (Convergence)

By Autumn Dawn,

Book cover of Bramble Burn (Convergence)

What is my book about?

It had been thirty years since the Convergence, when the dimensions aligned and combined Earth and the world of Gwyllon, known in human mythology as “Underhill”. Elven castles and ancient ruins sprouted in vacant lots, on major highways, sometimes merging with existing buildings, twisting into completely new structures. Roads and rail systems reformed, and after the rioting, starvation, and death, agriculture finally sorted itself and food began to flow. A new government formed of elves and men had arisen, a society of human tech and elven magic. Cell phones and frost giants, race cars and elven steeds, dungeons and dragons…

And everywhere, monsters.

The books I picked & why

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Monster Hunter International

By Larry Correia,

Book cover of Monster Hunter International

Why this book?

I love Larry’s cheeky sense of humor. Sometimes you just need a book with irredeemable bad guys that you can kill with no moral dilemma. Also, he has strong, sensible women, as opposed to the “spunky” type who do stupid things like pick berries in werewolf-infested woods to prove they’re tough. I admire a woman who can handle a sniper rifle, a family, and run a company. Plus, trailer park elves and gangster gnomes. Makes me smile every time.


The Goblin Emperor

By Katherine Addison,

Book cover of The Goblin Emperor

Why this book?

Sometimes I’m in the mood for complex world building. The hero has been given a raw deal. He manages to go from rags to riches and not lose his head...literally. He navigates entrenched politics with grace and overcomes his lack of skills with self education. He also builds relationships with all classes of people that earn him the name of bridge maker. He’s an excellent example of blooming where you’re planted.


Howl's Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

Why this book?

Light-hearted, yet unique, I want to clean the grungy castle with Sophie, smash the Witch of the Waste over the head and walk on the flower fields. The moving castle is so much fun, and it was great solving the riddle of the curse. Watching Sophie grow into her gifts was satisfying, and it made the outspokenness of old age look appealing.


Magic Bites

By Ilona Andrews,

Book cover of Magic Bites

Why this book?

I like the grit, humor, and slow build of romance. The characters feel real, the world-building is stellar, and I enjoy the genre-bending. It’s definitively not cookie cutter. Shapeshifters and vampires liven things up, but it’s the slow ascension of the main character that drives the plot. Her relationships can be complicated, but the reader is satisfied that the bad guys need a good killing.


The Grand Sophy

By Georgette Heyer,

Book cover of The Grand Sophy

Why this book?

This is a Regency romance novel published in 1950. She amuses me because her relatives are expecting to host this shy little miss. Instead, she turns out to be confident, brave, and magnificent. She’s traveled extensively with her father and knows generals, grand dames, and is popular with the officers. An excellent horsewoman and a keen wit, Sophie colors inside the lines of her time, but she’s so very vibrant, one can’t help but smile and enjoy the good times.



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