The best fantasy/romance books where in a war between humans and shifters, sparks and fur fly…until scales appear

Who am I?

My passion for books began at a very early age. My mom will tell you I never played with toys but toddled around, always with a book in my hand. From the Little Golden books of childhood, I grew into children's literature like Heidi and Black Beauty. Then came the horse books. Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Misty of Chincoteague was a particular favorite. Animal books have always been one of my go-to genres. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot started me on a series that I still return to from time to time. J. R. R. Tolkien is one of my inspirations as a fantasy author, along with C. S. Lewis.


I wrote...

Kisa: Shield-Mates of Dar

By D.V. Stone,

Book cover of Kisa: Shield-Mates of Dar

What is my book about?

Kisa is a middle daughter who, since the death of her mother, has been the caretaker of the family. Loyal and honorable, she dreams of directing her own life, not the one chosen for her. Circumstances throw her together with Kalman, a once-privileged son of a protectorate destroyed due to treachery. He is an outcast and seemingly a man without a future.

War is coming, and dragons have returned. Kisa and Kalman are charged by her father, King Dar, to find out how entrenched the dragons are, and the two must fight not only the enemy but their growing attraction.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Hobbit

D.V. Stone Why did I love this book?

Tolkien seems to be an obvious choice for a fantasy author. But The Hobbit was my first in the genre. Why would I recommend it? I grew up the only ‘reader’ in my house. None in my family understood how I could spend an entire day with my nose in a book. I’ll never forget the day my younger brother, and I talked about it. He said he hated reading. I told him he hadn’t found the kind he liked yet and handed him The Hobbit. So many years later, we are book buddies. I still spend time in Middle-earth it feels like home to me.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of Eragon

D.V. Stone Why did I love this book?

This entire series is captivating. I love young adult books. In this timeless series, the world-building is outstanding. It’s about good overcoming evil and sacrifices. The characters have faults and strengths and continue to grow. The magical world is a favorite of mine with all sorts of beings, including elves which I’m particularly fond of. Read this book with your children, and neither will be disappointed.  

By Christopher Paolini,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Eragon 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?

The first book in The Inheritance Series

When poor farm boy Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it's a lucky discovery. Perhaps, he will be able to buy his family food for the winter.

But, when a baby dragon hatches out of the stone, Eragon realises he's stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

His simple life is shattered, and he's thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. To navigate this dark terrain, and survive his cruel king's evil ways, he must take up the mantle of the…


Book cover of The Sword of Shannara

D.V. Stone Why did I love this book?

Often fantasy books are set in “past times”. This is future times after the world is destroyed and only a remnant remains of what was. Shut off from the horror of the outer world, it's a world of elves, humans, wizards, and demons. It's about a boy with who the fate of the world rests. The world and characters created by Terry Brooks are addicting. Read the first book, and soon you’ll be working through the series. It’s about heroes and sacrifices, about honor and treachery. 

By Terry Brooks,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Sword of Shannara as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***50 MILLION TERRY BROOKS COPIES SOLD AROUND THE WORLD***

THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES IS NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES

Volume one in the classic bestselling series - from one of the all-time masters of fantasy

'Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world' Philip Pullman

Long ago, the world of the Four Lands was torn apart by the wars of ancient Evil. But in the Vale, the half-human, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford now lives in peace - until the mysterious, forbidding figure of the druid Allanon appears, to reveal that the supposedly long dead Warlock Lord lives again.

Shea must…


Book cover of At Home in Mitford

D.V. Stone Why did I love this book?

This book is a bit different from my other recommendations. It’s not a fantasy. What it is is a series of books to make you laugh, cry, think, and most of all, want to go live in the imaginary town of Mitford, North Carolina. This is a small town where the phrase “Mitford takes care of its own” is sometimes hard but always rewarding. Reverend Tim Cavanough is a flawed man with a heart of gold who is in the mid to later stage in life and takes care of his flock of often eccentric, lovable townsfolk with a heart of love. I was with a friend one time walking through a little town in West Virginia, and we had both finished Ms. Karon’s books. The town and its folks reminded us of Mitford with its quaint charm. 

By Jan Karon,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked At Home in Mitford as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Jan Karon's beloved series set in America's favorite small town: Mitford.

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's…


Book cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

D.V. Stone Why did I love this book?

Okay, I was a grownup when I went back to school. Wizarding school. Hogwart, to be precise. Can I tell you how in love I was with this series? When it ended, it felt like I’d lost my best friend. From the beginning, I was drawn in by the magic of Ms. Rowling's world. From childhood to growing up, I adored Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Luna became one of my favorites, and who didn’t want Dobbie in their house? Action, magic, twists, loss, love, these books have it all, and it started right here with the Sorcerer’s Stone

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

36 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…


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Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

Book cover of Off Season

Randy Kraft Author Of Off Season

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Introspective Observant Bookish Friendly

Randy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, and they get on well. She will be on sabbatical fine-tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off-season?

Soothed by sea breezes, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late artist partner, Red is befriended by a flirty neighbor and her surfer husband, and Sharon shares her literary passions with a sexy retiree. When the winds of the pandemic blow, they have to confront their past within a daunting future.

Is off-season an opportunity for renewal or a glimpse of what might have been?

Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

What is this book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, she will be on sabbatical fine tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off season? On the other hand, what else might he have in mind and what will she face if she lets her guard down? Soothed by sea breezes and ocean views, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late partner, a Fauvist painter. Then, Red is…


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