The best books for helping you step outside the box

Dannye Williamsen Author Of Second Chances
By Dannye Williamsen

Who am I?

Growing up, I witnessed my mother have a number of precognitive episodes. I later realized I was very intuitive at times. As a technical analyst in commodities I recognized that intuition was playing a huge part in my success in calling the markets. Feeling uncomfortable in groups, I became very much an introvert. I feel others’ strong emotions and even their physical pain at times. It’s painful to watch shows where people are fighting or being hurt. Later in life I realized there was a name for my discomfort. Clairsentience. Writing/reading paranormal stories about others is not only comforting to me, but psychologically grounding as well. 


I wrote...

Second Chances

By Dannye Williamsen,

Book cover of Second Chances

What is my book about?

Second Chances is the evolutionary journey of a woman whose life has been defined by her fear of an unspoken power within and her need to suppress it by controlling herself and the world around her. Everything is brought into question when a ghostly stalker appears and disrupts her ordered existence, killing her assistant and leaving her clueless about how to get rid of the chaos taking over her life. 

Reluctant to embrace her powers, she welcomes the guidance of Avatar, a wolf who knows well the power of the darkness stalking her. Her stalker's rage at the perversity of his world long ago unleashed his power, and now the intensity of his negativity hurtles them both toward the edge of extinction.

The books I picked & why

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Petal to the Metal

By Annabel Chase,

Book cover of Petal to the Metal

Why this book?

Fun paranormal: If you’re new to paranormal books, the first book in the Bloomin’ Psychic series is a great place to start. It’s a fun series. New Yorker Mia Thorne is a hot mess when it comes to relationships and self-esteem after proposing to her boyfriend and being turned down in a viral flash mob and losing her job. Desperate, she discovers her eccentric Aunt Hazel has left her house to her, but she has to live in Newberry at least a year. Here is where her weird experiences become normal and her journey as a psychic begins. As you move through the series with her newfound friends, you get to experience her journey of self-discovery. I love a good ensemble of characters!

Petal to the Metal

By Annabel Chase,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Petal to the Metal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forty-two-year-old Mia Thorne is not living her best life. After a disastrous career-and-relationship-ending event, she escapes New York City and moves to a sleepy river town in Pennsylvania, courtesy of a dead aunt she never knew. Aunt Hazel was the reclusive family nut, a self-proclaimed psychic. Of course, Mia’s dad always told her that she, too, had the gift, but after his death, her mother made sure to squelch the notion. No square pegs allowed!

Aunt Hazel’s old cottage is only slightly better than the decrepit gardens surrounding it. Mia doesn’t know the first thing about gardening and expects this…

The Bad Place

By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of The Bad Place

Why this book?

Scary Paranormal: I read this novel in 1990. It was my first experience reading a paranormal novel with such a plethora of abilities. My husband and I listened to the audiobook while on a trip in 2004. It was even scarier than reading the book! Koontz presents a feast of mental abilities beyond the normal, e.g., teleportation, telekinesis, psychometry, channeling, telepathy, not to mention the hive mind of the twin sisters. Frank Pollard’s race to stay ahead of his evil brother Candy through teleporting as far as other worlds kept me on the edge of my seat.

The delicious metaphors, incredible descriptions, well-developed characters, and nerve-wracking suspense are all vintage Koontz. If you’ve never read The Bad Place, you should consider it. It’s on my “To Read Again” list.

The Bad Place

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frank Pollard awakens in an alley, knowing nothing but his name and that he is in danger. Over the next few days he develops a fear of sleep because when he wakes he finds blood on his hands and bizarre and terrifying objects in his pockets. Distraught and desperate, Frank begs husband-and wife detective team Bobby and Julie Dakota to get to the bottom of his mysterious, amnesiac fugues. It seems a simple job, but they are drawn into ever-darkening realms where they encounter the nightmare, hate-filled figure stalking Frank. And their lives are threatened, as is that of Julie's…


Carrie

By Stephen King,

Book cover of Carrie

Why this book?

Horror Paranormal: In 1974 when I was 25, Carrie was published as an epistolary novel [presented through a series of newspaper articles, letters, or book excerpts]. I was hooked. Most have probably seen the film adaptations, but there is nothing like reading the book. 

Carrie possesses the powers of telekinesis and telepathy, which she uses to exact revenge on her tormentors (which is the horror part). King quickly draws you into the emotional character of Carrie White. You can feel the girl’s desires, her pain from the bullying, and almost want to cheer when her powers enable her to strike back. Even though you probably wouldn’t go as far as she did, I’m sure you’ve felt a few “take no prisoners” reactions in the past. I know I have.

Carrie

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stephen King's legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates, is a Classic. CARRIE is the novel which set him on the road to the Number One bestselling author King is today.

Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.

But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her…


The Psychic Detective and the Editor

By Heidi Wildes Mitchell, Theo Burzynski (illustrator),

Book cover of The Psychic Detective and the Editor

Why this book?

Detective Paranormal: I love reading Indie books like Book 1 in the Psychic Detective Ellen Owens series because they offer such diverse styles. Mitchell takes care to develop her characters beyond their career roles, which I like.

Detective Owens struggles to accept her gifts, which can be a blessing and a curse for her. Visions aren’t readily accepted as evidence in police work; however she quickly learns they can offer leads. When Ellen spies a woman at a cemetery several times wearing the same clothes, she’s drawn into a 1978 cold case where an editor named Regina Mitchell disappears, leaving her young son behind. Although a psychic newbie, Ellen’s family isn’t, so she has her mother for support as she winds her way through this complex old and cold case. 

The Psychic Detective and the Editor

By Heidi Wildes Mitchell, Theo Burzynski (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Psychic Detective and the Editor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you love crime and ghost stories, then you'll love this novel which combines these two genres. Homicide detective Ellen Owens has recently moved into a new home just outside of her hometown, Columbus, Georgia. After a chance sighting of two grieving women, at a nearby cemetery, Ellen and her partner Nathan are drawn into a thirty year-old cold case.

In 1978, a young editor named Regina Ann Mitchell went missing on her way to a work related party. The only thing ever found of her was her car, parked next to a bridge crossing over the Chattahoochee river.

Unknown…

Accidental Magic

By Iris Beaglehole,

Book cover of Accidental Magic

Why this book?

Paranormal Women’s Fiction: This is a relatively new genre that “celebrates either a midlife or older woman who navigates her life while discovering or developing her own magical powers. Being an older woman, I leapt on this one! Magic realism is present here as is often the case with the paranormal. Interweaving individual paranormal abilities within the town of Myrtlewood, which is itself a city of quirks, with a mystery and a murder demanding to be solved. 

The personalities of the two main characters seem to ruffle the feathers of some readers. However, I viewed the interactions of the mother and daughter as evolutionary journeys, individually and in their relationships with each other. Did it present frustrating moments? Of course, but this is what makes it good.

Accidental Magic

By Iris Beaglehole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome to Myrtlewood, a quirky town, steeped in magic, tea, and mystery…

Life’s a struggle for Rosemary Thorn and her teen daughter, Athena. But their regular troubles are turned upside down after Granny Thorn’s mysterious death.

Despite her cousin's sinister manoeuvrings, Rosemary returns to Myrtlewood and the sprawling, dilapidated Thorn Manor. But there's more to the old house than meets the eye, as Rosemary and Athena soon find out — in a whirlwind of magic, adventure, mystical creatures, and endless cups of tea.

Life in Myrtlewood would be bliss if Rosemary could only clear her name in a certain murder…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the paranormal, private investigators, and magical realism?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the paranormal, private investigators, and magical realism.

The Paranormal Explore 143 books about the paranormal
Private Investigators Explore 165 books about private investigators
Magical Realism Explore 106 books about magical realism

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Dead Until Dark, Kindred, and The Woman in Black if you like this list.