The best thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.


I wrote...

Barbed Wire and Daisies

By Teresa M. Schulz,

Book cover of Barbed Wire and Daisies

What is my book about?

This is a novel set in future rural New Zealand. The tale starts in the year 2030 as world wide oil supplies come to a grinding halt overnight. There are now hordes of starving, desperate people in the overcrowded cities. Looting, violence, and chaos become rife.

Living in a remote valley, Gen is a kick-ass, protective mother who, along with her husband Nate, will stop at nothing to defend her family and protect what is hers from the depraved, sometimes cannibalistic survivors who come crawling out of the cities to the countryside, in search of food. It soon becomes survival of the fittest. Who will win?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Outlander

Teresa M. Schulz Why did I love this book?

The Author’s style is totally immersive. It begins with time travel through standing stones, and the genres multiply from there. The story has a good pace, plenty of action and adventure, humour, and a hunky scotsman… what else could you ask for?

In all seriousness, the main character is a feisty WW2 nurse who, when challenged, is ready to voice her opinions with plenty of sass. She is also strong, skilled, kind-hearted, and downright funny at times. She reminds me a lot of myself.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
 
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…


Book cover of The Fellowship of the Ring

Teresa M. Schulz Why did I love this book?

When I read a book, I’m looking to escape real life and all the stressful b.s. that goes with it. Lord of the Rings – in particular, The Shire, where the Hobbits live - is a great place to do that.

I’m a little like a Hobbit myself in that I love gardening, food, and fine ale. I also like to wander off on the path less traveled, my heart filled with a combination of fear, curiousness, excitement, and loads of imagination.

The characters in this book are loveable (except the Orcs, Orcs are rather unpleasant), but the other characters are loveable and very human in a lot of ways. I love to see the little guy (underdog) win. Especially when he/she has had to fight hard to get there.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Fellowship of the Ring 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?

This brand-new unabridged audio book of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic adventure, The Lord of the Rings, is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author, Andy Serkis.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord Sauron's evil dominion.

Thus begins J. R. R. Tolkien's classic tale of adventure, which continues in…


Book cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Teresa M. Schulz Why did I love this book?

I’m basically a big kid at heart. The story of an ordinary boy being told on his eleventh birthday he is actually a wizard, is brilliant! Hogwarts is probably the only school every kid would love to attend. Hermione is a brilliant witch if a tad bossy. But the boys would have been a bit lost without her.

It’s a story kids can relate to—as they have to go through the usual youth challenges such as new friendships, exams, and young love, albeit with a magical twist—and gain inspiration from.

As a mother of four daughters, I love stories that empower girls (and children in general), help them believe in themselves, and encourage them to reach for the stars! The value of loyal friends is a great message throughout the books as well.

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

39 authors picked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 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?

Galloping gargoyles ... 2022 is the silver anniversary of J.K. Rowling's magical classic Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!

The boy wizard Harry Potter has been casting a spell over young readers and their families ever since 1997. Now the first book in this unmissable series celebrates 25 years in print! The paperback edition of the tale that introduced us to Harry, Ron and Hermione has been updated and dressed in silver to mark the occasion. It's time to take the magical journey of a lifetime ...

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping…


Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Teresa M. Schulz Why did I love this book?

A medieval world with dire wolves, dragons, and John Snow.

But seriously, Daenerys was a favourite of mine in that series. I have mentioned earlier that I love when the underdog wins – well I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but in my mind, that young woman who came from a place of being bullied by her crazy brother, pursued by a vengeful enemy on the iron throne, challenged by Dothraki, and judged by almost everyone else, grew in confidence, strength and courage to become a force to be reckoned with. She earned the title "Mother of Dragons."

There were several other strong females in this series: Arya, Sansa, Catelyn, Brienne, and Ygritte, to name a few. At times, the story is a bit gruesome and not for the faint-hearted – but definitely a good series to read.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Teresa M. Schulz Why did I love this book?

As a mother, I could relate to June Osborne’s feelings of panic and rage when her family was pursued and her child ripped from her arms. Someone taking or hurting my kids would be my worst nightmare. I am definitely a protective Mama bear and no enemy could stop me from doing whatever I had to – to rescue my child. That is one of the main reasons this book resonated with me.

The rest of the storyline is not too far fetched these days, with politics as they are. In a world where a few rich have so much power, and the many are basically wage slaves, an apocalyptic world is not hard to imagine.

It was hard to read of the torment her captors put June through, but that had to happen to show the strength of a woman surviving everything they had thrown at her, and never giving up the fight.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…


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Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

Book cover of Rip Current

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

What is my book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.

Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary. When a young internet influencer goes missing and is feared drowned, Fin realizes that someone lured all the dead women into the dangerous rip currents. But who, and why?

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

What is this book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.
Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary.
Soon after a young internet…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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