top of page
Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

My Reference Library: Remember That You Asked for This

I get a questions about my reference library. (OK, so it's more along the lines of "where the heck did you come up with that?") So here's a list of almost every title on my bookshelf.

By category and in no particular order, with links:


(Seriously, I use these nearly every time I start a new story.)

Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Screenwriters by Alexandra Sokoloff

The Complete Writers Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Tami Cowden, Carolyn LeFever and Sue Viders

And as I write the Mystic Bayou series, the two following books have been absolutely invaluable:

Monsters You Should Know by Emma Sancartier

The Mythical Creatures Bible by Brenda Rosen


Before anyone thinks I’m all fancy and cerebral, a good number of these were textbooks for my master’s of fine arts program.

The Writers Workshop by Alan Zeigler

Released into Language by Wendy Bishop

Writers Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein

The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Peglisi

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald Tobias

How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane

Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434 by Lew Hunter

Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger

I KNOW, it sounds funny for a professional author with ten years experience to have a “For Dummies” book, but I bought this waaay back before I even wrote my first (never to see the light of day) romance novel. It WAS a valuable source of information and I consider it a sort of good luck charm. It’s moved with me four times now. And so it deserves a spot on the shelf.

Teach Yourself: Writing a Romantic Novel by Donna Baker

Writers Workshop of Horror by Michael Knost

Adventures in Screen Trade by William Goldman

The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King


10,000 Ghost Stories by Lisa K. Webster and Jason Hook

Black Cats and Evil Eyes by Chloe Rhodes

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other

Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack and Dinah Mack

Wicca: A Guide for The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf

The Complete Book of Spells, Curses and Magical Recipes by Leonard R.N. Ashley

Giants, Monsters and Legends by Carol Rose

The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe

Don’t Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth Davis

Wisconsin's Most Haunted by Craig Nehrin


How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History by Eric Durschmied

History’s Greatest Decisions by Bill Price

History’s Greatest Blunders by Ian Whitelaw

History’s Greatest Deceptions by Eric Chaline

The Forgotten History of America by Cormac O’Brien


Young Witches and Warlocks by Isaac Asimov and Others

This was one of my favorite library books to check out when I was a kid. It took me years to track down a copy online. It's the perfect mix of fantasy and sci-fi.

Edgar Cayce on ESP

Forbidden Knowledge: 101 Things NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do by Michael Powell

Forbidden Knowledge Sex: 101 Sensual Acts NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do by Claire Bailey

YES, I did think I was buying one and ended up with the other. I won't tell you which is which.

101 Ways to Kill a Zombie by Rob Pearlman

How to Survive a Sharknado by Andrew Shaffer

If you knew my editor, you would know why this is funny.

Gypsy Law: Romani Tradition and Culture by Walter Weyrauch

The Private Investigator’s Handbook: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Protect Yourself, Get Justice or Get Even by Chuck Chambers

World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels

Old Wives Lore by Polly Bloom

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by WB Yeats

Greek Legends and Stories by MV Seton-Williams

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

Myths and Legends by Jake Jackson

Myth and Legends by Phillip Wilkinson

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Mythology by Arthur Cotterell

The Nightmare Dictionary: Discover What Causes Your Nightmare and What Your Bad Dreams Mean by Adams Media

Legendary Ladies by Ann Shen

Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen

Sacred Crystals by Hazel Raven

I will admit. I bought it because the cover was pretty. But it’s been very useful, particularly since I started writing the Sorcery and Society series.

Mackinac Island: Three Hundred Fifty Years of History by Robert Benjamin

Haunts of Mackinac by Todd Clement

The Illustrate History of Weaponry by Chuck Wills


Time Life Mysteries of the Unexplained

Time Life Mysteries of the Past

Time-Life Bizarre Phenomena

The Time-Life books I couldn't find online. I inherited them from my grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa were THE MOST sensible people I've ever known. I asked Grandma once if she believed in ghosts and she said, "If I can't see it, it's not there." I have no idea why they had three Time-Life books on supernatural and bizarre phenomena. I can only imagine they bought a bunch of Civil War documentaries and the weird books were a free gift. Either way, as a kid, I would park in a corner at every family gathering and DEVOUR these books. They're probably the place my interest in the absolutely weird started. I don't necessarily use them often, but I'm so grateful to have them.

Weird Michigan by Linda S. Godfrey

Weird Kentucky by Jeffrey Scott Holland


Books I think any author should have on hand. Also, I'm mildly obsessed with Jane Austen... And I don't know want to list the many editions of Pride and Prejudice I own... including a graphic novel version.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Grimm’s Complete Fairy tales

Edgar Allen Poe Complete Tales and Poems

Jane Eyre

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility


Northanger Abbey

Mansfield Park


Dante’s Inferno