Historical mystery novelist M. Ruth Myers packs her books with strong women, small guns, and smart dialogue. She tops today’s Buffet with her newest “Maggie Sullivan” mystery, Tough Cookie. She also writes as Mary Ruth Myers, and teaches at writers’ conferences nationwide including the Antioch, Cape Cod, and Mark Twain conferences.

mruthM. Ruth earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree at the University of Missouri, and she worked as a reporter and feature writer on daily papers in Saginaw, Mich., and Dayton, Ohio. (Her Maggie Sullivan character is a Depression-era journalist/private investigator who works in Dayton, Ohio.)

M. Ruth resides in Ohio, and when not writing or reading, she plays Irish traditional music on a button accordion, and an Anglo concertina. She blogs at the website Gal Gumshoe.

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Tough Cookie (Maggie Sullivan mysteries)

Mystery > Historical
Author: M. Ruth Myers
Tough Cookie (Maggie Sullivan mysteries)

When Depression-era private eye Maggie Sullivan is invited to dine with a millionaire, she doesn’t expect the first course to be a gun in her face. It draws her into a gold-plated web of theft, revenge, double crosses and murder.

A big-time swindle has made fools of some of the city’s wealthiest businessmen. The man behind it has vanished. When Maggie begins asking questions, he reappears – dead in the river. But she’s already learned too much. Someone’s out to silence her too.

Armed with her .38 and a nip of gin, Maggie closes in on a killer as a mobster offers a hint, a cop unsettles her with his chemistry, and a woman with deadly potential plays a game by her own rules.


Unconventional

Christian Fiction
Author: J. J. Hebert
Unconventional

Young James Frost just knows, deep in his bones, that he’s a writer. He writes far into early mornings, after his wearying hours of scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors. He loves writing that much.

But it’s not only the joy of words that keeps him grinding; it’s his desire to retire the janitor’s mop. He sees being published as the key to living an improved life. James has another deep-seated conviction: that he’s not good enough. He secretly longs to be accepted. However, the conventional others in his life seem all too willing to remind him that he’s wasting his time.

Then he meets and falls in love with Leigh, the one bright spot in his endless misery of self-doubt. A quiet but resolutely religious girl, she has to fight off disapproval of her own from overly critical parents, whose insults are countered by James’s often-voiced admiration of her. Likewise, Leigh’s faith in his talents begins to build his confidence, eventually allowing her to introduce him to a different way to help himself: relying on God.

Ultimately, James’s newfound faith is sorely tested to the point of doubt when his dream to be published seems to melt into a mirage, smothered by countless rejection slips from agents and publishers. His faith is also battered by having to fight highly emotional battles and suffer fear and loss. Just when James appears hopelessly sapped by devastating events, one last door opens, and he’s rocked by an epiphany.

The Demon Of Synar

Romance > Fantasy > Space Opera

Author: Donna McDonald
The Demon Of Synar (Fantasy, Space Opera, Science Fiction Romance) (FORCED TO SERVE)

Being captain of his own rescue ship is the life Liam Synar has always dreamed of living. Being master of a hereditary demon is not. Coveting Malachi’s power, his exiled evil brother hunts him, wanting to capture the demon that Liam’s life mate now unknowingly hosts. Putting Malachi inside Ania two years ago had been an act to save her when she almost died saving his. If only the demon hadn’t killed again.

Changes (The Randall Lee Mysteries #1)

Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure
Author: Charles Colyott
Changes (The Randall Lee Mysteries #1)

When a young woman is found murdered in a seedy massage parlor near his neighborhood, the police recruit Randall Lee – an American acupuncturist and Tai Chi master — as a translator and expert in Chinese culture, to assist in the investigation. Lee discovers that the murderer is an expert in a forbidden Chinese martial art – the dark mirror to his own healing practices – and joins in the hunt for the killer to escape his own inner demons and save the woman he loves.

Spirit Horses

Contemporary Fiction
Author: Alan Evans
Spirit Horses

In the hills of Tennessee, Shane Carson, a gifted, nationally-recognized horseman, is living the good life. When a mysterious mustang shows up on his farm, Shane doesn’t know how—or why—the horse appeared, but the horse’s distinctive brand identifies her. She is one of the Spirit Horses, a rare, wild herd that runs free on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. Watched over for centuries in the tribe’s ancestral valleys, these exquisite horses, according to belief, provide a link to the afterlife.

When tragedy strikes in his life, Shane nearly loses his will to live—but for one promise he made to his young son: to return the mustang to her rightful home.

To make good on his vow, Shane must face the danger that threatens these horses, the tribe’s legacy, and his destiny.

Otherwise Alone

Literature & Fiction
Author: Shay Savage
Otherwise Alone

Lieutenant Evan Arden sits in a shack in the middle of nowhere, waiting for orders that will send him back home – if he ever gets them. Other than his loyal Great Pyrenees, there’s no one around to break up the monotony. The tedium is excruciating, but it is suddenly interrupted when a young woman stumbles up his path.

He has two choices – pick her off from a distance with his trusty sniper-rifle, or dare let her approach his cabin and enter his life.

Why not? It’s been ages, and he is otherwise alone…

Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles)

Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Author: Ripley Patton
Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles)

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she’s a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia’s calculus class, stares at her like she’s a freak, Olivia doesn’t like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.

Ember X (Death Collectors)

Romance > Contemporary
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Ember X (Death Collectors)

For nineteen-year-old Ember, life has always been about death. With a simple touch, she can see when someone will die. It’s her curse and the reason she secludes herself from the world. The only person that knows her secret is her best friend Raven.

But that changes when she meets Asher Morgan. He’s gorgeous and mysterious and is the only person Ember can’t sense death from. The silence he instills in her mind and body allows her to feel things she’s never been able to before, so despite her initial reservations, Ember lets Asher into her life and lets herself to get close to him. But the closer they get, the more Ember realizes that Asher is keeping secrets from her.

When unexplained deaths begin to surface in her town, Ember questions why she can’t see Asher’s death and what it is he’s hiding from her.

Medals, Flags and Memories

Biographies & Memoirs > Military
Author: John and Stacey Holley
Medals, Flags and Memories

On November 15, 2005, John and Stacey Holley unwillingly became Gold Star Parents. Their son and only child, Matthew John Holley, was killed along with three other Soldiers when an IED exploded under their Humvee while on patrol in Iraq. Racked with grief over their son’s death, John and Stacey’s sorrow turned to outrage when they learned that Matthew’s casket would return to San Diego’s Lindbergh Field as common freight. There would be no honor guard to welcome this fallen hero back to the nation of his birth. Instead, Matthew Holley’s remains would be transferred by forklifts and baggage handlers, like a crate of auto parts.

Determined to welcome their son home with honors befitting his sacrifice, the Holleys embarked on a quest to challenge the law, and to begin a journey of healing that would touch the lives of Gold Star Families across the country.

The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy)

Children’s Fiction > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Author: Laura Howard
The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy)

Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

A Game of Proof (The trials of Sarah Newby)

Thrillers > Legal
Author: Tim Vicary
A Game of Proof (The trials of Sarah Newby)

A mother’s worst nightmare – can her son be guilty of murder?

Sarah Newby, who left school at 15, and was living as a teenage single parent on an inner-city estate, has worked her way up to begin a career as a criminal barrister. But what should she do when her own son, Simon, is arrested and charged with a series of brutal rapes and murders?

Has Sarah, in her single-minded determination to create a career for herself, neglected her son so much that she no longer knows him? He has often lied to her in the past, so how can she trust him when he says he is innocent this time? And what should she do when she herself uncovers evidence that seems to suggest his guilt?

Should she help the police and protect the public? Or risk her career to save her son?

57 Minutes: All That Stands Between You And a Better Life

Self-Help > Motivational
Author: Mike Jackson, Pierre Lever
57 Minutes: All That Stands Between You And a Better Life

The definitive short guide to a more fulfilling life.

The book answers important questions that lie at the heart of sustainable life improvement. Why experiences provide deeper satisfaction than possessions. How to prevent life goals from fading into obscurity. How to break the monotony of repetitive living. Why quitting is sometimes the right thing to do. And many others.

Few books fit so much insight into such a small space.

… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks and the Kindle Daily Deal here on page 2