Kathy Diane Wentworth (1951 – 2012) was an elementary school teacher-turned-author who went on to publish nine science-fiction novels and more than 50 short stories under the name K.D. Wentworth.

kdK.D.’s later work included The Course of Empire, co-written with Eric Flint, and its sequel, The Crucible of Empire. Book 1, which tops today’s Buffet, first appeared in hardcover in 2003, and is a thought-provoking far-future novel of an Earth conquered by aliens.

A University of Tulsa graduate, K.D. got her start winning the Writers of the Future Contest in 1988, and then later won Field Publications’ “Teachers as Writers” Award in 1991. She served two terms as secretary of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in the early 2000s and was editor for the Writers of the Future Contest from 2009 until her death last year.

One of K.D.’s novelettes, Kaleidoscope (2008), and three of her short stories, Burning Bright (1997). Tall One (1998), and Born Again (2005) were Nebula award finalists.

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The Course of Empire

Science Fiction > Space Opera
Author: K. D. Wentworth, Eric Flint
The Course of Empire

WOULD THEY DESTROY EARTH IN ORDER TO SAVE IT?

Conquered by the Jao twenty years ago, the Earth is shackled under alien tyranny—and threatened by the even more dangerous Ekhat, who are sending a genocidal extermination fleet to the solar system. Humanity’s only chance rests with an unusual pair of allies: a young Jao prince, newly arrived to Terra to assume his duties, and a young human woman brought up amongst the Jao occupiers.

But both are under pressure from the opposing forces—a cruel Jao viceroy on one side, determined to drown all opposition in blood; a reckless human resistance on the other, perfectly prepared to shed it. Added to the mix is the fact that only by adopting some portions of human technology and using human sepoy troops can the haughty Jao hope to defeat the oncoming Ekhat attack—and then only by fighting the battle within the Sun itself.


Skip Rock Shallows

Religious Fiction > Historical
Author: Jan Watson
Skip Rock Shallows

Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust.

As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.

Murder à la Carte

Mystery > Cozy > Culinary
Author: Susan Kiernan-Lewis
Murder à la Carte (The Maggie Newberry Mystery Series)

When her boyfriend inherits an ancient vineyard in France, Maggie Newberry quits her job in Atlanta to accompany him for a year abroad. They settle in the tiny village of St-Buvard, but murder has gone long before them and follows close behind.

Murder a la Carte brings Atlanta copywriter and southern belle Maggie Newberry to the brink of two connected murders—both committed in her home—and both poised to threaten everything she holds dear. When Maggie agrees to move to France with her boyfriend—a French ex-confidence man who has just inherited a house and vineyard—she doesn’t expect her year of French market shopping and weekend trips to Paris to be interrupted by a vicious murder in her living room. Or that the bloody violence that occurred on their front doorstep sixty years earlier after the end of the Second World War might be connected.

I’ll Be Here

Genre Fiction > Coming of Age
Author: Autumn Doughton
I'll Be Here

For the past two years, Willow James has been building the perfect life–a life that centers around Dustin Rant, her dimpled, sports-car-driving, cologne-wearing boyfriend. Willow and Dustin have lots of plans. Plans for college, prom, tonight actually. So, when the unthinkable happens, and Dustin breaks up with Willow over a plate of cheese fries at a steak house, she is left stunned and heartbroken.

With less than two months until graduation, Willow has to start a new life from scratch. She’ll have to revisit old wrongs along the way and make the most important decision of all: who does she want to be? She’s going to have help from her wacky ex-best friend, her bohemian mother, and an old flame that is suddenly and somewhat inconveniently back in her life.

People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business

Management & Leadership  > Social Media for Business
Author: Ben Waber
People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business and What It Tells Us about the Future of Work

Discover powerful hidden social “levers” and networks within your company… then, use that knowledge to make slight “tweaks” that dramatically improve both business performance and employee fulfillment! In People Analytics, MIT Media Lab innovator Ben Waber shows how sensors and analytics can give you an unprecedented understanding of how your people work and collaborate, and actionable insights for building a more effective, productive, and positive organization. Through cutting-edge case studies, Waber shows how:

  • Changing the way call center employees spent their breaks increased performance by 25% while significantly reducing stress
  • Quantifying the failure of marketing and customer service to communicate led to a more cohesive and profitable organization
  • Tweaking the balance of in-person and electronic communication can enhance the value of both

Drawing on his cutting-edge work at MIT and Harvard, Waber addresses crucial issues ranging from technology to privacy, revealing what will be possible in a few years, and what you can achieve right now. In bringing the power of analytics to organizational development, he offers immense new opportunities to everyone with responsibility for workplace performance.

Cursed

Romance > Fantasy
Author: Casey Odell
Cursed (Cursed Magic Series, Book One)

The night Claire Tanith’s small village is attacked, her mother sends her alone into the cursed forest, the one she’d been forbidden to enter all her life with these mysterious words: ‘They will protect you.’

On the run from her attackers, she soon finds the forest is not as abandoned as she’d once thought.

Beautiful and elegant, the elves seem to be everything the legends said they would be. But legends sometimes forget the true history of things and Claire’s eyes are soon opened to a world she never knew. One that has been kept from her for most of her life. All Claire wants to do is return home and start looking for her mother, the only family she ever had. But the elves have different plans. The mysterious mark that appeared on her arm isn’t a curse, at least not to them anyway, and before she knows it, she is whisked away on a mission she never agreed to, unless they help her in return.

The Entrepreneur Mind

Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Author: Kevin Johnson
The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs

To achieve unimaginable business success and financial wealth—to reach the upper echelons of entrepreneurs, where you’ll find Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sara Blakely of Spanx, Mark Pincus of Zynga, Kevin Plank of Under Armour, and many others—you have to change the way you think. In other words, you must develop the Entrepreneur Mind, a way of thinking that comes from learning the vital lessons of the best entrepreneurs.

Johnson shares the essential beliefs, characteristics, and habits of elite entrepreneurs. Through the conviction of his own personal experiences, which include a life-changing visit to Harvard Business School, and the compelling stories of modern-day business tycoons, Johnson transforms an oftentimes complex topic into a lucid and accessible one.

Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose

Economics > Sustainable Development
Author: Jagdish N. Sheth, Rajendra S. Sisodia, David B. Wolfe
Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose

Today’s best companies get it. From Costco to Commerce Bank, Wegmans to Whole Foods: they’re becoming the ultimate value creators. They’re generating every form of value that matters:emotional, experiential, social, and financial. And they’re doing it for all their stakeholders. Not because it’s “politically correct”: because it’s the only path to long-term competitive advantage.

These are the Firms of Endearment. Companies people love doing business with. You need to become one of those companies. This book will show you how. You’ll find specific, practical guidance on transforming every relationship you have: with customers, associates, partners, investors, and society. If you want to be great—truly great—this is your blueprint.

The Rules of Work

Organizational Behavior > Workplace
Author: Richard Templar
The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (2nd Edition) (Richard Templar's Rules)

Some people are simply great at their job; they always seem to say or do the right thing. They are mentioned in every conversation. Everybody likes them. They get promoted. They get pay raises. They get along with the boss. And somehow, they do all these things without being unpleasant, breaking much of a sweat or seeming to put in excess effort. And when they are offered another step up the corporate ladder or a fabulous new job, no one is surprised. After all, they have ‘potential’ written all over them. How do they do it? Do they know some secret we don’t? Yes, they know The Rules of Work.

These rules are the guiding principles that will improve both what you do and how you do it, giving you the unmistakable air of confidence that will win you admiration, respect, and the next promotion. With The Rules under your belt you’ll have the edge in everything you do, without having to compromise your principles.

Simply Fleece

Crafts & Hobbies > Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts
Author: Bonnie Scott
Simply Fleece

Over 30 quick fleece projects and crafts to make. With both no sewing and sewing fleece patterns, you’ll find apparel and accessory ideas for everyone in the family in Simply Fleece.

From outerwear for all ages, clothing and home fashions to comfortable accessories for your pets and gifts for all occasions, this book of easy patterns is perfect for everyone from novice sewer to professional seamstress.

Patterns include:

  • Scarves
  • Blankets and Throws
  • Hats
  • Mittens
  • Dog Fleece
  • Pillows
  • Tote Bags
  • Christmas Decorations
  • and much more

Ishmael Toffee

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Roger Smith
Ishmael Toffee

Ishmael Toffee’s knife put him behind bars and kept him there for twenty years as a prison gang assassin until he lost his taste for blood. Paroled, he finds himself with no money and no family. And no knife in his hand.

He gets a job as a gardener at the luxurious home of a prominent lawyer and makes an unexpected friend–Cindy, the lawyer’s six-year-old daughter. When Ishmael discovers that Cindy is being raped by her father he must choose: abandon the girl and walk away, or do what he does best . . .
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2