The best paranormal books

26 authors have picked their favorite books about the paranormal and why they recommend each book.

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Lover Awakened

By J.R.Ward,

Book cover of Lover Awakened

Anyone who reads steamy, gritty Romance has probably already found the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a bunch of vampires fighting their own brand of bad guys in Caldwell, New York. My favourite of all these very hot guys is Zsadist, who was kidnapped at an early age and turned into a blood and sex slave. His story starts in the earlier books, but it's in this one that he finally gets his love interest, the beautiful Bella, who helps him heal and saves him from himself.  

There is so much going on in these very long books, most of it violent and sexually explicit, but if you love tortured heroes, then you can’t go past Zsadist. Start at the beginning of the series, though, so you don’t miss any of the action.


Who am I?

I’ve always read and written Romance. But while my real life took center stage, I consigned my manuscripts to gather dust in my bottom desk drawer and went off to teach English and History and raise a family. When my real life got less hectic and the Indie Revolution started, I dragged my stories out, dusted them off, and started publishing them. Lo and behold, readers loved them as much as I did, and suddenly I had a whole new career. Teaching literature tends to make you critical, and I was super-critical of my ‘trashy’ romances. Now I’m proud I write stories women can read to relax and be entertained by. 


I wrote...

The Barbarian's Mistress

By Nhys Glover,

Book cover of The Barbarian's Mistress

What is my book about?

Vali, the Norse giant, became the sex slave of Roman patricians when he was captured as a young teen. Since then he has grown angrier and more violent with every passing year. When his violence leads to the punishment of the gladiatorial arena he is offered one way out. He can gain his freedom if he can get the innocent and beautiful Anniana to her prospective husband in Pompeii before her unscrupulous mother makes her the wife of the vile and decadent new emperor. But when Pompeii is destroyed and her mother sends assassins to track Anniana down, it becomes a chase across the breadth of the Roman Empire to keep her safe. Vali will need to shield the sweet girl from the many dangers of the journey, as well as the worst threat of all: himself.

Dark Lover

By J.R.Ward,

Book cover of Dark Lover

I make no apologies for being a serial series reader and this one makes every one of my top ten must-read lists. You want action? Read this. Intrigue? Done. Vamps with questionable morals and snarky attitudes? All here. Romance? Definitely. Escapism? J.R. Ward is a queen of storytelling with a flair for walking on the darker side without crossing over. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is my top recommendation for anyone seeking to dip their toes in the paranormal romance genre.


Who am I?

While I can trace my love of romance books back to the bookmobile where I checked out every Sweet Dreams and V.C. Andrews book I could every Wednesday, I blame Anne Rice for my lifelong obsession with vampires, shifters, and alphas that go bump in the night. Paranormal romance has been my go-to for two decades, with contemporary romance coming in a close second in recent years. Although I write the stories I want to read, the books on this list have inspired me. The emotions and devotion they cultivate are what I aspire to create with my own books and I hope you love these as much as I do.


I wrote...

Connection

By Katja Desjarlais,

Book cover of Connection

What is my book about?

Vampire Dominic Kaius is a cleaner, collecting humans others leave behind and bringing them into the Kaius haunt. When a mission triggers a connection between him and the woman he’s sent to acquire, he’s torn between his desire for her and his need to stay away.

Waking in an unknown bed, Molly Wagner faces two choices: death or Tender training. Opting for survival, she’s thrust into vampire hierarchy, where women are schooled as courtesans. She finds solace with Dominic, but when the madness of their connection consumes him, the haunt sells her to an unvetted master. Embroiled in a battle to save his kind from extermination and driven by their connection, Dominic risks everything to save Molly before her new master destroys her body and soul. 

Creatus

By Carmen Desousa,

Book cover of Creatus

Carmen has created a more “ordinary world” in which extraordinary people exist in the shadows. There is romance and danger and suspense, but I like that there’s no graphic violence here. Each book in this series focuses on a different couple.


Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by things paranormal and supernatural. There is so much in the “real” world that we don’t understand and can’t prove their existence, but there is enough video and photos, as well as stories, that I don’t see how we can say there’s not more beyond our five senses. Many of my own books center on paranormal abilities and events, and I do love reading about them as well!


I wrote...

Until I Die Again (Love and Light)

By Tina Wainscott,

Book cover of Until I Die Again (Love and Light)

What is my book about?

After a deadly accident, Chris awakens in the body of another woman, the wealthy and glamorous Hallie. But as she falls in love with Hallie’s husband, an unforeseen threat could shatter her second chance at life… 

Blood Oath

By Kelly St Clare, Raye Wagner,

Book cover of Blood Oath

This was the first book I read from these authors and it completely captivated me. Drae, a seemingly normal woman plunged into an utterly abnormal–and dangerous situation–it was a completely binge-worthy series and one I re-read. The tension between the two main characters as they fight to deny what is between them is delicious


Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with high fantasy since the moment my grandmother first presented me with Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Then, add in a Nora Roberts book when I turned sixteen, and voila, my love for all things fantasy romance was born. I crave tension, romance, sizzle, and some epic fight-to-love scenes that make my blood run hot. When I started writing, I knew the exact genre I wanted to focus on–romance. All. Things. Romance. Fantasy, paranormal, contemporary–I enjoy writing them all but in every single one of my stories there lies a thread of fight–of sizzle–because what’s a happily ever after if you don’t have to work for it?


I wrote...

The Last Ward: A Dark Fantasy Romance (Cambrexian Realm)

By Jessica Wayne,

Book cover of The Last Ward: A Dark Fantasy Romance (Cambrexian Realm)

What is my book about?

His legacy is drenched in her blood. Daxon Ward has never wanted anything to do with the legacy of his bloodline. But when his brother follows in their father's footsteps and joins the realm's greatest protectors, Daxon swallows his hatred, and returns to the one place he swore he'd never set foot in again. The academy comes under attack, and Daxon crosses paths with the realms' most notorious assassin.

She's out for blood. Hell-bent on destroying the same man who turned her into a monster, Sienna uses a Guardian ceremony to sneak inside the otherwise impenetrable walls of the academy. Only, it's already under siege. She may be the only one with the power to save them all, but only if the man she's hunting doesn't find her first.

The ebook is permafree.

Secondhand Spirits

By Juliet Blackwell,

Book cover of Secondhand Spirits

In addition to being a fun witchy mystery with a hilarious familiar, the author treats the magical art of Brujeria with deep respect and knowledge. And the heroine’s got a lot of heart. With romance, vintage clothing, and magic, this series is hard to beat. Secondhand Spirits is the first book in the Witchcraft Mysteries featuring Lily Ivory and a great place to start this series.

Who am I?

I believe that magical systems and worlds based on folklore and existing magical practices feel more “real” to the reader... and are a lot more interesting. As an avid Tarot reader, I’ve taken some deep dives into the esoteric magical traditions and symbols behind the cards. I’m still coming up for air on the topic. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to channel this arcane (and let’s face it, not otherwise very useful) knowledge into my own witch and paranormal mysteries. I hope you enjoy the witchy mystery novels on this list!


I wrote...

Bound: A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery (The Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries)

By Kirsten Weiss,

Book cover of Bound: A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery (The Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries)

What is my book about?

In a family with two witchy sisters, Karin is cursed with a lack of magic. But when she finds a body in flighty, big sister Jayce’s coffee shop, a dark enchantment begins unraveling. And Karin and her small mountain town will never be the same.

As Karin works to untangle the murder, the knottier the mystery of her small mountain town becomes. Why are hikers vanishing in the nearby woods? Why are some people cursed with bad luck and others with good? And what is Jayce’s handsome new lawyer hiding? With her sister’s fate hanging by a thread, Karin struggles to untangle the truth, and death stalks ever closer…

A Veiled Deception (A Vintage Magic Mystery)

By Annette Blair,

Book cover of A Veiled Deception (A Vintage Magic Mystery)

This frothy, well-paced cozy witch mystery features a psychic who can pick up visions of the past wearers of old clothes. How convenient that she runs a vintage clothing store… Add a Cary-Grant handsome ghost and some very lively romantic entanglements to the great clothes and a charming small town, and you’ve got a winning paranormal mystery. The author also does an excellent job describing the experience of clairtangency—psychic touch.


Who am I?

I believe that magical systems and worlds based on folklore and existing magical practices feel more “real” to the reader... and are a lot more interesting. As an avid Tarot reader, I’ve taken some deep dives into the esoteric magical traditions and symbols behind the cards. I’m still coming up for air on the topic. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to channel this arcane (and let’s face it, not otherwise very useful) knowledge into my own witch and paranormal mysteries. I hope you enjoy the witchy mystery novels on this list!


I wrote...

Bound: A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery (The Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries)

By Kirsten Weiss,

Book cover of Bound: A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery (The Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries)

What is my book about?

In a family with two witchy sisters, Karin is cursed with a lack of magic. But when she finds a body in flighty, big sister Jayce’s coffee shop, a dark enchantment begins unraveling. And Karin and her small mountain town will never be the same.

As Karin works to untangle the murder, the knottier the mystery of her small mountain town becomes. Why are hikers vanishing in the nearby woods? Why are some people cursed with bad luck and others with good? And what is Jayce’s handsome new lawyer hiding? With her sister’s fate hanging by a thread, Karin struggles to untangle the truth, and death stalks ever closer…

Our Trespasses

By Michael Cordell,

Book cover of Our Trespasses: A Paranormal Thriller

There are many negatives about this book that told me to stay away. For me, the subject that deserved to be highlighted is forgiveness. The way the author weaved it into this story was perfect. The topic does not fit with the genre, and though paranormal and suspenseful, forgiveness ties it over for me.

Our Trespasses’ negative was the paranormal side of the book. I’m not a big fan of the genre but once my interest was piqued, I really enjoyed the book. In the end, it wasn’t that big negative, but it made me hesitant to read at first.


Who am I?

I am a very realistic person, curious by nature, who loves a good thrill. A good twist—no matter the genre—that has all the above recommendations captures my attention. A feel-good chick flick or book does nothing for my curious side but adds a twist or two and you have me hooked. Love at war is that kind of book. It has a few twists that touch on important topics and leave you with a few thoughts to think about afterward. Life is not only marshmallows and sprinklers. Life is real and I like my books like that, too. Therefore, I call myself a multi-genre author. I don’t want to be bound by one genre.


I wrote...

Love at War: A Love Story

By Lynelle Clark,

Book cover of Love at War: A Love Story

What is my book about?

Passionate about her work, war-torn South Sudan offered Sonia Main peace. A short-lived peace shaken by choices. Could Sonia let go of the past and see a future?

Curt McGee was a man bound by honour and duty. It took him away from home for long periods of time. Confronted with obedience he had to put love aside. Tau Gbadamosi had a tough time. War ravished his country. The enormous plight for help too great for one man or one fight. Faced with loyalty, he had to decide. A decision that would cost him. When a warlord sets his sight on the Red Cross nurse, all hell broke loose. Only God could stop him.

The Walker in Shadows

By Barbara Michaels,

Book cover of The Walker in Shadows

This book has everything; atmosphere, a masterful voice, a definite sense of history and place, and a good old-fashioned reason for how the plot unfolds. The mystery is revealed at the perfect pace, with small snippets and the characters are an interesting mixture of different generations so there is a dynamic that flows through the story is an ebb and flow of perspective.

A touch of paranormal is one of her signatures and it really works here.

I just couldn’t put it down. If you crave a few chills and a desire to look over your shoulder with some trepidation after the lights go out, I highly recommend it. Ms. Michaels handles that perfectly.


Who am I?

Kate Watterson is the author of thriller novels for various publishers, and has always been a fan of the suspense genre. Good tension and a bit of danger balanced by an investigator who is on the trail, and she turns pages into the night. It is all about the hunt and the solution in her opinion, and of course, being perched on the edge of your seat.


I wrote...

The Lake House

By Kate Watterson,

Book cover of The Lake House

What is my book about?

Three friends with secrets. One luxurious lake house vacation. A killer on the loose. Lauren, Drew and Rob go on a relaxing vacation that turns into a nightmare. As Lauren sunbathes by the lake, she sees the man from next door lugging something heavy into a boat. The night before, Lauren thought she heard a woman screaming. What is their rich and famous neighbor hiding? Women are vanishing in this beautiful corner of Tennessee, full of woods and water. Detective Chris Bailey has his hands full. He's investigating a drowning from last summer. The woman was never identified. But a pattern is emerging. Another body surfaces. The killer will stop at nothing to stay hidden. Will Lauren be the next victim? And can she handle the fact both her friends are in love with her?

American Monsters

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Book cover of American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America

As I was working on a new nonfiction book, this time about werewolves, dogmen, and other types of shapeshifters in the United States, I read many books on the subject out there. One author. Linda S. Godfrey, had written many stories connected to the American Dogman/werewolf, beginning with the Beast of Bray Road. In this book, she also wrote about other American creatures, not just the dogman. She covers pre-Columbian to modern sightings. I believe, whether a fantasy/horror writer looking for their next monster for their short story or novel to the amateur cryptid hunter happy to explore these beasties from the safety of their seat, anyone will enjoy this book. I did. 


Who am I?

Long before I began writing my first fictional story and way before I researched for my first nonfiction paranormal book, I gave up ignoring the voices in my head and began writing horror, fantasy, and six nonfiction books on the paranormal in Virginia. Besides learning a new piece of history or legend I never knew before, the research for my nonfiction books and articles inspired me to incorporate it into my horror or fantasy fiction. I enjoy writing fiction, but I believe I learn as much as my readers when I write nonfiction. 


I wrote...

Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales

By Pamela K. Kinney,

Book cover of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales

What is my book about?

Like every state in the Union, Virginia has unique myths, legends, and yes, even true stories that sound much like legends, but aren't. Read the urban legend of the Bunnyman and what happens to mortals at his Bunnyman Bridge at midnight on Halloween. Discover the myths surrounding Edgar Allan Poe and other famous Virginians. See why Natural Bridge is a haunted tourist attraction. What makes the Great Dismal Swamp so creepy: Is it the ghosts or Bigfoot? Meet the Witch of Pungo in Virginia Beach and find out that Mothman and the Jersey Devil visited Virginia. Read Virginian stories of witches, demons, monsters, ghosts, pirates, strange animals, and soldiers from the Civil War. Visit an amazing and frightening Virginia that you never knew existed.

Dragon Bound

By Thea Harrison,

Book cover of Dragon Bound

Pia is forced to steal from a dragon hoard. She knows it’s wrong but she is stuck. Dragos is furious someone got into his hoard let alone took something from it. So I love how the two characters meet in this book. I also love how this woman is not the fainting flower. In fact, even though she’s faced with an alpha male to the Nth degree, she faces him down. This book holds humor, adventure, magic, and love. This one is definitely an adult book. 


Who am I?

Oh, Dragons. They have invaded my life. They’re in every room in my house – it gets crowded in the bathroom but there are a couple in there. They feature in my meditations and once I started reading fantasy, they feature in many of my books. I’m always happy to look at a book with dragons in it. If I could turn into a dragon – I would. 


I wrote...

Marelo

By Eileen Troemel,

Book cover of Marelo

What is my book about?

Marelo studies water dragons. Bandor studies her heart.

Driven to succeed, Marelo focuses on her studies. She doesn’t have time for males claiming her as a mate. She came here to study the dragon’s ancestral home. She will find the evidence she needs while avoiding all males, especially Bandor who makes her heart rush. Bandor takes one look at Marelo and knows she’s his mate. Her haughty demeanor doesn’t put him off. She’s his mate, he’ll do anything to win her. But he has secrets only his mate can know. Can he convince her to be his mate or will it take something more?

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