Catherine Ryan Hyde is perhaps best known for Pay It Forward, which was adapted into a film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The book was chosen by the American Library Association for its “Best Books for Young Adults” list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries.

catherineCatherine tops today’s Buffet with Where We Belong, which was released in Kindle and paperback format just two months ago.

More than 50 of Catherine’s short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals and anthologies. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Catherine is also co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How To Be A Writer in the E-Age … And Keep Your E-Sanity.

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.)

Where We Belong

Literary Fiction > Parenting & Relationships > Special Needs

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Where We Belong

Fourteen-year-old Angie and her mom are poised at the edge of homelessness… again. The problem is her little sister, Sophie. Sophie has an autism-like disorder, and a tendency to shriek. No matter where they live, home never seems to last long.

Until they move in with Aunt Vi, across the fence from a huge black Great Dane who changes everything. Sophie falls in love immediately, and begins to imitate the “inside of the dog,” which, fortunately, is a calm place. The shrieking stops. Everybody begins to breathe again. Until Paul Inverness, the dog’s grumpy, socially isolated owner, moves to the mountains, and it all begins again.

Much to Angie’s humiliation, when they’re thrown out of Aunt Vi’s house, Angie’s mom moves the family to the mountains after Paul and his dog. There, despite a fifty-year difference in their ages, Angie and Paul form a deep friendship, the only close friendship either has known. Angie is able to talk to him about growing up gay, and Paul trusts Angie with his greatest secret, his one dream. When the opportunity arrives, Angie decides to risk everything to help Paul’s dream come true, even their friendship and her one chance at a real home—the only thing she’s dreamed of since her father was killed. A place she can never be thrown out. A place she can feel she belongs.


Rain on Your Wedding Day

Contemporary Fiction
Author: Curtis Edmonds
Rain on Your Wedding Day

A modern Southern Gothic novel about one family’s tragic past and the consequences that it holds for their future.

Five years ago, Will Morse was arrested and charged with the murder of his youngest daughter Trixie. Will maintained his innocence, and claimed that Trixie’s death was a suicide. Although Will escaped criminal charges, he lost his job as a Coca-Cola executive in the scandal. His wife, Danielle, left him, convinced that he had some role in Trixie’s death. Distraught and racked by grief and guilt, Will retreated to the safety and silence of a remote cabin in the North Georgia wilderness.

Will’s only connection to the outside world is a phone call he receives once a year, at Christmas, from his daughter Alicia. But this year, Alicia calls to tell Will that she is paying him a visit. Alicia arrives with her fiancée in tow, and tells Will that she expects him to attend the wedding in the spring.

Will wants to rekindle his relationship with her daughter, especially once he learns that she is pregnant. However, Will fears that attending the wedding will bring up painful memories from his past, and lead to conflict with his ex-wife and her family, who still blame him for Trixie’s death.

God Loves You – Chester Blue

Contemporary Fiction > Inspirational
Author: Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
God Loves You. - Chester Blue: An Inspirational Book About a Very Special Bear With a Message From God

What if when you most needed help, a blue bear appeared with a note from God? One night, Miss Millie of Blossom, Ohio turns her face to the stars and asks God for help. The next day, a package arrives on her doorstep containing a blue teddy bear and a very special note.

God will meet us where we are…

Over the course of a year, this remarkable blue bear travels across the country, showing up just when he’s needed most.

During his journey, Chester Blue helps a young girl trying to impress her big sisters; helps a man who has lost his job; saves a sailor caught in a terrible storm; reunites two constantly fighting brothers suffering from a terrible case of sibling rivalry; watches a cowboy become a rodeo clown; and helps a father and daughter after divorce. Each chapter is short story demonstrating God’s love for us in every situation.

Helping People Win at Work

Business & Investing > Management & Leadership
Author: Ken Blanchard
Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy Called "Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A" (Leading at a Higher Level)

Blanchard and WD-40 Company leader Garry Ridge reveal how WD-40 has used Blanchard’s techniques of Partnering for Performance with every employee–achieving levels of engagement and commitment that have fortified the bottom line. Ridge introduces WD-40 Company’s year-round performance review system, explaining its goals, features, and the cultural changes it requires. Next, he shares his leadership point of view: what he expects of people, what they can expect of him, and where his beliefs about leadership and motivation come from. Finally, Blanchard explains why WD-40 Company’s Partnering for Performance system works so well–and how to leverage its high-value techniques in your organization.

Shadows Over Innocence

Fantasy > Epic > Short Stories

Author: Lindsay Buroker
Shadows Over Innocence (an Emperor's Edge short story) (The Emperor's Edge)

Sicarius, the emperor’s personal assassin, returns from a successful mission only to discover that the enemy is retaliating by sending an assassin of their own. The target? Five-year-old Prince Sespian.

Shadows over Innocence is a 4,500-word short story set fourteen years before the first Emperor’s Edge novel.

Dark Horse

Mystery > Hard-Boiled
Author: J.R. Rain
Dark Horse (Jim Knighthorse #1)

When Derrick Booker, the only black student at a posh Orange County high school, is accused of killing his white girlfriend, ex-college football hero and detective Jim Knighthorse is hired to dig a little deeper into the murder. It doesn’t take long for Knighthorse to realize that not all is as it seems at tranquil Huntington High, from a band director who preys on the innocent to a vice-principal with a secret agenda of her own. Not to mention someone’s hired a professional killer to keep Knighthorse permanently off the case.

As the investigation continues, Knighthorse’s personal life is shattered by the discovery of new evidence relating to his mother’s unsolved murder, a murder dating back twenty years. Reeling from the discovery, a determined Jim Knighthorse sets out to bring two killers to justice.

Bad Games: A Novel

Genre Fiction > Horror
Author: Jeff Menapace
Bad Games: A Novel (A Dark Psychological Thriller)

The Lambert Family is heading to Crescent Lake, a rural cabin community in western Pennsylvania, for an idyllic weekend getaway. Some fishing, some barbecue, some games…

The Fannelli brothers are heading to Crescent Lake too. Some stalking, some kidnapping, some murder, definitely some games…though not necessarily the type of games the Lamberts had in mind.

But it doesn’t matter. The Lamberts are going to play whether they like it or not.

An intense psychological thriller, Bad Games has the dark, mind-bending chills of The Bad Seed combined with the fish-out-of-water dread and suspense of Deliverance.

So let Jeff Menapace’s highly anticipated thriller keep you up all night as it delves into the mystery of nature versus nurture when comprehending the evil in man, along with the will and determination an innocent family must summon to fight back against horrific odds.

The Other Side of the Ice

Biographies & Memoirs > Adventurers & Explorers
Author: Sprague Theobald, Allan Kreda
The Other Side of the Ice: One Family's Treacherous Journey Negotiating the Northwest Passage

A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.

Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake.

What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

Ready or Not (Aggie’s Inheritance)

Religious Fiction
Author: Chautona Havig
Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance)

Fresh out of college, Aggie Milliken thinks she’s prepared for anything life can throw her way. Think again, Aggie!

After the abrupt loss of her sister and brother-in-law, Aggie is stunned to find herself the sole guardian of their eight lively children. If learning basic parenting skills wasn’t complicated enough, she must also battle the children’s half-crazed grandmother, survive a massive remodeling project, and navigate the waters of new friendships-alone.

She has little experience with children and none with housekeeping, and it shows. What she has going for her is grit, a double dose of determination, and the confidence that this is exactly where the Lord wants her to be. With an unlimited P-mail account and enough hymns to keep her spirits bolstered, she tackles one catastrophe after another.

It seems like nothing Aggie does is right, but ready or not, here she comes!

The Soulmate Experience

Spirituality > Personal Growth & Inspiration
Author: Mali Apple, Joe Dunn
The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships

Single, in a relationship, or married: people of all walks of life and all ages are finding this new book on enlightened relationships inspiring, accessible, and truly transformational. This revolutionary guide will help you create and sustain a relationship that is intimately connected on all levels–emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual–and a continual source of love, inspiration, and joy.

Whether you’re on a quest for your soulmate, looking for deeper connection in the relationship you have right now, or just want to experience much more love in your life, the ground-breaking ideas in this book–and the many stories of real people putting them into practice–will fill you with love, inspiration, and possibility. Because The Soulmate Experience isn’t just a book. It’s a great way of living life.

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher

Children’s eBooks > Fantasy & Magic
Author: Julian Rosado-Machain
Guardians Inc.: The Cypher (Guardians Incorporated)

A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future
they need a cypher.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2