Author and playwright David Blixt tops today’s Buffet with his breathtaking historical-fiction novel The Master of Verona, a delightful romp through the backstory of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ as the Chicago Sun-Times called it.

david2David’s novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE’S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theater with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

David lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.

As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours. Warning: Kindle book promotions can end without notice, so before downloading click the link “See Kindle price at Amazon” to verify that the book is still free. (Prices and availability may differ outside USA.)

The Master of Verona

Historical Fiction
Author: David Blixt
The Master of Verona (Star-Cross'd)

Romeo & Juliet is the greatest love story ever told. And every story has a beginning.

A sweeping novel of Renaissance Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA follows Pietro Alaghieri, eldest son of the poet Dante, as he’s caught up by the charisma and genius of Verona’s ruler, Cangrande della Scala. Pietro risks battles, duels, and murder to impress his new lord. At the heart of the story is an infernal plot against Cangrande’s bastard heir, and the rivalry of two friends over the affections of a girl – a rivalry will sever a friendship, divide a city, and spark a feud that will someday produce the star-cross’d lovers.

Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA is a novel of brutal warfare, lost friendship, and dire conspiracy, combining to create an epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.

Doug and Carlie

Romantic Comedy > Inspirational
Author: Lisa Smartt

Doug and Carlie

Carlie Ann Davidson only has $167.29 in the bank. She’s 10 years late on college and 37 lbs. over the ideal weight chart. When she’s not in her college classes, she’s stocking shelves at the Dollar General Store in Commerce, Georgia, and wondering why SO many people eat pork n beans. But Carlie has dreams, dreams of love and literary success. With the humorous and engaging backdrop of small town characters and culture, Carlie realizes she’s not a loser at all. Just a late bloomer. The good news? Sometimes there are rewards for late bloomers.

The Throne 2

Literature & Fiction > African American > Romance
Author: Cole Hart, Tina Nance
The Throne 2

Amil Walker, the daughter of the late Timothy Timbo Walker and Falisa Walker, is eager to know some of the family secrets that have been kept from her over the years. And she’s stopping at nothing to get her turn on The Throne. However, her mother is still in charge. Running the family drug empire from prison and getting a few wrinkles ironed out, Falisa is faced with a situation. And the only way around it is to give herself up to the Colombian Cartel.

Give Me a Break: The art of making time work for you

Business Life > Time Management
Author: Hugh Culver
Give Me a Break - the art of making time work for you

The always-on, striving for more, multitasking, 24/7 world we live in is having its toll. We are getting busier, but not happier. While the “time management” movement created more list-makers, it failed to address the heart of why “To-Do’s” tended to trump time for family, and time to think, reflect, and plan was replaced by a bulging email Inbox.

Culver presents a model for getting to the heart of why we never seem to have enough time and how to create the time we actually need. A past workaholic, successful business owner, and consultant to large corporations, Culver knows a lot about being busy and what defines success. His solution is to first redefine the beliefs that drive the behavior and from there reset priorities, create better systems, practice better habits, and finally, invest in reflection, review, and renewal.

Deception Peak

Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy
Author: Dianne Lynn Gardner
Deception Peak

A young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life.

But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It’s then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.

Morning Star (Ethos)

Romance > Fantasy & Futuristic
Author: Desiree Finkbeiner
Morning Star (Ethos)

When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…

Blood Warrior

Romance > Paranormal > Werewolves & Shifters
Author: H. D. Gordon
Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga)

When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.


Mind Games (A Diana Racine Psychic Suspense)

Suspense > Paranormal > Psychics
Author: Polly Iyer
Mind Games (A Diana Racine Psychic Suspense)

During a New Orleans Mardi Gras Ball, psychic entertainer Diana Racine touches the hand of a masked Cyrano de Bergerac and is instantly transported into the icy-cold body of a dead woman submerged in water. As Diana crumples to the floor, water filling her lungs, she hears Cyrano whisper that the game has begun.

Diana has been called every epithet in the book: charlatan, cheat, publicity hound…and genius–all at least partially true. But convincing New Orleans police lieutenant Ernie Lucier that her vision of the dead woman is the real thing may be her hardest act yet.

One Night With a Rock Star

Teen & Young Adult > Romance
Author: Chana Keefer
One Night With a Rock Star

When Esther was a young teen with frizzy hair and too-skinny legs, Sky’s music soothed her through awkwardness and pain. Now she’s a college journalism student and fledgling print model. One chance meeting rocks their worlds.

Will Esther’s deep roots in family and faith keep her feet on the ground when a tornado named Sky blows her world apart?

The Testing Survival Guide for OLSAT Test, CogAT Test, KBIT-2, ITBS, WPPSI, GATE Test, Stanford-Binet® and More

Education & Reference > Schools & Teaching > Elementary School
Author: Testing Mom LLC
The Testing Survival Guide for OLSAT Test, CogAT Test, KBIT-2, ITBS, WPPSI, GATE Test, Stanford-Binet® and More

Perhaps you live in a school district where the best classrooms available are in the gifted program and everyone has their children tested before they even enter kindergarten. You might be applying your child to a competitive private school that requires an IQ test as part of the application. Or maybe you live in a city where all children start school in general education classrooms and gifted and talented testing doesn’t begin until 2nd or 3rd grade.

Whatever is the case, with so much riding on the outcome of these tests, you cannot leave the results to chance. The more you know about the various tests administered to children for school admissions, the more you can help your child succeed and get the best placement possible.

In this guide, we will explain the different types of tests children are given for school placement, show you 40 practice questions from various tests.

The Universal Mirror

Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
Author: Gwen Perkins
The Universal Mirror

On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living–whether to harm or to heal.

Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.

Virginia Creeper

Genre Fiction > Horror > Occult
Author: Blaine Pardoe
Virginia Creeper

I wasn’t prepared for this, hell, no one was, especially the police. I could wrap my mind around a serial killer back then. Oddly, that was easy especially when these crimes first broke. Serial killers seemed commonplace – almost boring. The Route 211 killings were big news, but only for a few weeks, then the story disappeared, except for those of us involved with the investigation.

These killings were something more. The Virginia Piedmont had malevolent secrets that were thought long lost and forgotten. The more I dug the more I discovered that these horrific murders spanned centuries.

Piece of Cake Paleo – The Effortless Paleo Baking Bible

Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Low Carb
Author: Jack Roberts
Piece of Cake Paleo - The Effortless Paleo Baking Bible

Are you finding it painfully difficult to keep yourself from reaching for the cakes and cookies? Clueless and overwhelmed when asked to make “real” food that’s actually tasty? Humiliated because nobody wants to eat what you make? Sick and tired of always feeling hungry?

Well now we have the Effortless Paleo Baking Bible. The purpose of this book is to provide genuine, easy, quick, and delicious recipes for people who don’t have a lot of time to be in the kitchen. It provides amazing dessert recipes so you’ll never have to kick yourself after answering to your sweet tooth again.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2