The best books with magic and ghosts that inspire readers to find their voice and passion

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent my 20s and early 30s searching for my voice, passion, and romantic love. I moved every year to a different city, had many jobs (from carrot cake baker to sport autobiography co-author, to writing a Star Wars trilogy of Middle Grade novels for LucasFilm) and dated the flotsam and jetsam of the boyfriend world. It was only when I discovered my raison d’être, writing young adult and adult fiction, that I gained the confidence to pursue my dream of being a fiction author, ask for what I needed in relationships, and define my own version of happily ever after. I believe anything is possible!

I wrote...

The Book Of Silver Linings

By Nan Fischer,

Book cover of The Book Of Silver Linings

What is my book about?

Constance is a people pleaser and animal rescue volunteer. When her boyfriend proposes she says yes, even though she’s unsure. While researching her antique engagement ring she discovers it’s tied to a book of letters written by a WWI ambulance driver. Constance begins reading the letters, recognizes a kindred spirit, and writes the long-dead man a note confessing her fears. Days later she’s shocked to discover his ghost has written her back! Will an impossible love affair derail her life, or lead to finding her voice, passion, saving a threatened animal shelter, and discovering her true love?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Keeper of Lost Things

Nan Fischer Why did I love this book?

I love books of discovery, people who are lost and figure out a way to find their voices, and characters who become the silver linings for others and in doing so find love and a meaningful life.

This is a quirky story about one woman’s quest to return lost treasures to their rightful owners, with the help of an irritable ghost. Each character in this charming novel is fully developed, and every plot thread expertly woven. It’s perfect for readers searching for a heart-warming read and a dusting of magic!

By Ruth Hogan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Keeper of Lost Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost…

Book cover of The Dead Romantics

Nan Fischer Why did I love this book?

A disillusioned ghostwriter must find her way back home, literally and figuratively, in this story about a woman who has lost her belief in love despite being a ghostwriter for a romance author.

I was drawn to this novel because I was once a ghostwriter for elite athletes and had my own experience with professional disillusionment. This story is full of charm as Florence Day grapples with loss while simultaneously dealing with a confused ghost who has her doubting everything she once believed about love.

Sweet and poignant without a single misstep!

By Ashley Poston,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Dead Romantics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book of 2022!

The New York Times Bestseller and Good Morning America Book Club Pick!

"I LOVED this book! ...Funny, breathtaking, hopeful, and dreamy.”—Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love.…

Book cover of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Nan Fischer Why did I love this book?

One of my favorite reads of the years! A magical, historical story that spans hundreds of years and reaches through time as Addie struggles to find meaning and love despite her past.

I love stories that have historical elements, threads of magic, that are written so well that the reader believes anything is possible. V.E. Schwab creates a flawed character that we don’t love at first, who must overcome the Faustian bargain she made to carve out a life and find her soulmate.

My favorite part? The evolution of Addie’s character and a different version of happily ever after!

By V. E. Schwab,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality." -Neil Gaiman

A Sunday Times-bestselling, award-nominated genre-defying tour-de-force of Faustian bargains, for fans of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life, and The Sudden Appearance of Hope.

When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she is convinced she's found a loophole-immortality in exchange for her soul. But the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century…

Book cover of Heart-Shaped Box

Nan Fischer Why did I love this book?

I’m not sure there’s a more perfect ghost story than this book!

It’s designed for readers who want goosebumps but not to be terrified and it inspired me to create a ghost story in The Book of Silver Linings that reaches through time though without the terror that Joe Hill delivers ;-).

An aging rock star named Judas buys a suit off the Internet that is supposedly haunted by its dead owner’s ghost and the haunting commences!

The history of the suit, the ghost’s malignant spirit, and determination to kill Judas is a page-turner that reveals complex characters, none completely good or evil, and a three-dimensional backstory of childhood abuse that leaves the reader questioning who to root for and gives a window on how the past shapes our choices and future.

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Heart-Shaped Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Buy my stepfather's ghost' read the e-mail.

So Jude did.

He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it: because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books and all the rest of the paraphanalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.

But the rest of his collection doesn't make the house feel cold. The bones don't make the dogs bark; the movie doesn't make Jude feel…

Book cover of Maybe in Another Life

Nan Fischer Why did I love this book?

Hannah, uncertain in life and floundering with work and love, is given two different chances to see where her choices might lead in this gripping exploration of fate.

This novel asks if anything is meant to be and if there is such a thing as a true soulmate? I loved how Hannah is magically given the opportunity to live out her decisions, something we all wish we could do! She ultimately discovers that while chance plays a role, personal choice, and accepting the consequences of each decision is a large part of life.

As for fate? That’s up to the reader to decide and I love stories that make me think.  

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Maybe in Another Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Named "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour * Good Housekeeping * Cosmopolitan * PopSugar * Bustle * Goodreads

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold-with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived…

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Down a Bad Road

By Regina Buttner,

Book cover of Down a Bad Road

Regina Buttner Author Of Down a Bad Road

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a close girlfriend who was once involved with a man she wanted to marry. The trouble was, the guy was always hanging out with this other woman who he’d known since childhood. Just friends, he said. Nothing going on. Ha! The shenanigans they got up to were unbelievable, and extremely upsetting to my girlfriend, who eventually broke up with the cad. Her unlucky experience got me interested in the psychology of the love triangle, and why some people remain mired in these dead-end relationships. My reading jam is anything twisty and suspenseful, and what’s more fraught than a three-way competition for someone’s affections.

Regina's book list on love triangles that turn deadly

What is my book about?

Jealousy can be deadly.

Ron Burley has a rule against messing around with married women, but lovely Lavender has convinced him to break it. Their steamy affair sets someone off, but it isn’t Lavender’s clueless husband—it’s Marta, Burley’s clingy childhood friend and ex-lover. 

Hoping to win Burley back, Marta dangles a lucrative job offer. Though he’s sorely tempted, Burley’s afraid to trust her due to the sketchy circumstances surrounding their bitter breakup years ago; but this might be his only chance to get back at her for what she did. Meanwhile, Lavender has become suspicious of Burley’s romantic history, and…

Down a Bad Road

By Regina Buttner,

What is this book about?

"Gripping and unforgettable suspense-think North Country, New York noir laced with dark humor. Don't plan on setting this fast-paced thriller down until you read the last page!" –Cam Torrens, author of Stable

Jealousy can be deadly.

Longtime bachelor Ron Burley has a rule against messing around with married women in his rural upstate New York town, but sassy, lovely Lavender has convinced him to break it. Their steamy affair sets someone off, but it isn't Lavender's clueless husband-it's Marta, Burley's clingy childhood friend and ex-lover.

Marta knows Burley is on the verge of going broke, so she secretly tries to…

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