The best books that have your heart racing

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have been with me all my life as my father was a librarian and fed me books from an early age; I cannot remember being taught to read, I just could. Adventure and detective were my favourites. Then I found my local library and the horizons expanded; when I worked in a library there was the joy of being able to ‘stop’ a book I wanted to read but couldn't find. I graduated as a Biochemist and then got into computer programming. I completed my first novel in 1980 but put it away for thirty years before rewriting and publishing it. I got the writing bug and four more books followed as a series.


I wrote...

Quadseers: Preposterous Journey

By C.E. Marshall,

Book cover of Quadseers: Preposterous Journey

What is my book about?

Sitting on a bus, two men discuss a project to the interest of a fellow passenger. Leaving the bus the two men are followed and then persuaded to tend to the sick crew of an alien craft and also to affect repairs. That is when their problems begin.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Bitten

C.E. Marshall Why did I love this book?

This is the first book in quite a long series. I was hooked on them all once I started this one. Werewolves, Witches, Warlocks all interact. I loved the interaction between two of the main characters. Hate and resentment turn to love. An imaginary world where good and bad collide, where family is important and protected. I only wish we humans could look out for each other as the characters in this book do.

By Kelley Armstrong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING OTHERWORLD SERIES.

"Frisky...Tells a rather sweet love story, and suggests that being a wolf may be more comfortable for a strong, smart woman than being human."-The New York Times Book Review

Elena Michaels is the world's only female werewolf. And she's tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her-her temper, her violence-but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she's growing content with…


Book cover of Sabriel

C.E. Marshall Why did I love this book?

I love magic and mystery and this book has plenty of it, along with a river of death. The first of three books, we meet the main characters here and become embedded in their world. Once started I couldn’t put this (or its sequels) down. I fall in line and live in the strange lands depicted here. Ride the river of death to bring back a lost soul. I became anxious about the fate of Sabriel and absorbed in a tale of a land I could never visit

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Sabriel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A stunning anniversary gift edition of the second in the bestselling Old Kingdom fantasy series.

Sabriel has spent most of her young life far away from the magical realm of the Old Kingdom, and the Dead that roam it. But then a creature from across the Wall arrives at her all-girls boarding school with a message from her father, the Abhorsen - the magical protector of the realm whose task it is to bind and send back to Death those that won't stay Dead. Sabriel's father has been trapped in Death by a dangerous Free Magic creature.

Armed with her…


Book cover of The Devil Rides Out

C.E. Marshall Why did I love this book?

One of a series that can be read in any order. I found this spine-chilling as it is so easy to put yourself in the place of the characters. I could feel, and live, their fear and desperation. This is not a ghost story. I found it easy to imagine a group of ne’re do wells indulging in these rituals and bringing terror to themselves and others. Not a book I could put down.

By Dennis Wheatley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Devil Rides Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The aristocratic Duke de Richleau faces new, sinister challenges in this macabre tale of the dark arts. When his good friend Simon Aron's naive curiosity is tested, the Duke, along with his ever-patient friends Rex Van Ryn, and Richard Eaton, must intricately plot a means of both physical and spiritual rescue. But with Van Ryn's affections for a beautiful woman caught in the web of Satanists, and Eaton's ongoing scepticism, they all risk being brought to the verge of madness through dabbling with the powers of evil.

From London to the West Country, the slums of Paris to a Christian…


Book cover of The Banished of Muirwood

C.E. Marshall Why did I love this book?

More magic and another enchanting new world to explore. Again I found I could dissolve into the story and be there with the characters. You are taken on adventures through this strange land where magic creeps from every stone. Start with a young girl who must face trials, partake in battles and defeat those who would enslave her people. She inherits the Kystrel a magical pendant with which she can both give and take. The first of three books which I could not put down.

By Jeff Wheeler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world full of magic and mystery, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and rightful heir to the throne. Forced to live as a servant in her enemy's home, Maia flees her captors and begins a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret-despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it. Hunted by enemies at every turn, Maia realizes that danger lurks within her, too. Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself…


Book cover of The Hound of the Baskervilles

C.E. Marshall Why did I love this book?

I first read this as a young teenager hooked on Sherlock Holmes by my Latin master. The book is filled with tension and I could visualise the wilds of Dartmoor (having visited on holiday many times). I imagined being alone on one of those tiny roads that cross the moor and hearing the howl of a large dog getting nearer and nearer. Real enough that you want to hide under the bedclothes. I love a clean read: no swearing, no sex, very little blood and gore. This book ticks all the boxes, and despite its age, for anyone who likes mystery, horror, and intrigue; this is a book for you.

By Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Hound of the Baskervilles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead, his face distorted with shock and horror, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are faced with a sinister and difficult puzzle. A fearsome creature stalks the wild and barren hills of Dartmoor. Is it a demon from the spirit world? Will it defeat their skill and courage? Who is the tall, mysterious figure seen lurking on the moor at night? Can Holmes save Sir Henry, the new owner of Baskerville Hall, from the ancient family curse? Or will the terrifying hound claim yet another victim?


You might also like...

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

Book cover of Wrightsville Beach

Suzanne Goodwyn Author Of Wrightsville Beach

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing all my life, but was never able to find my voice until I had my daughters. It was for them I wrote “Wrightsville Beach”. I wanted to show them what a good relationship should look like and how their decisions make a difference in where they will go. I want my readers to relive that feeling of falling in love and to be sent in unexpected directions, as life so often does to us. I want you to enjoy it so much, you don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished and once you do, to sit and reflect on it, savoring the feeling it has left behind.

Suzanne's book list on smart women trying to figure it all out

What is my book about?

Two years ago, devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Hank Atwater went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested. Since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess feel connected to each other in a way neither has ever felt before.

But when Hank’s past leads to a frightful incident, it ends their relationship. Jess leaves to work on the beach…

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

What is this book about?

Two years ago, Hank Atwater made a terrible mistake. Devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Rob, he went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested for aggravated assault. Sober since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck.

Working a dead-end delivery job, Hank uses surfing and running to deal with being ostracized as he waits for his probation to end. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in good and evil, war, and Sherlock Holmes?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about good and evil, war, and Sherlock Holmes.

Good And Evil Explore 135 books about good and evil
War Explore 1,921 books about war
Sherlock Holmes Explore 101 books about Sherlock Holmes