Laura Parker Castoro is the best-selling author of 39 novels in the genres of contemporary romance, western, saga, romantic suspense, young-adult non-fiction, African American, and mainstream. She tops today’s Buffet with Caprice, Book 1 in her “Masqueraders” Regency series. The book originally appeared as a Dell paperback in 1994.
Married with three children, Laura began her writing career while taking time off from a degree in microbiology to take care her of personal biology experiments at home — two wearing diapers, and one in kindergarten. Two years later, in 1980, she sold her first book, the historical romance Silks and Sabers.
Laura is an avid traveler — she’s logged miles in England, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. At various times she’s lived in Washington D.C., Connecticut, and New Jersey, with long stretches in between under the big sky of Texas.
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Caprice: The Masqueraders Series – Book One
Historical Romance > Regency
Author: Laura Parker
In both love and war, engaging the enemy is a dangerous game.
Hadrian Blackburne returns to London from the war. Thought to have been killed at Waterloo, he soon wishes he were, instead bored to tears by his unruly family and his role as Lord. He misses the spy games of Persia, where he was a master of intrigue. His attention is snared by a ravishing, veiled beauty who has swept into London’s Regency society on a cloud of exotic mystery.
Who is this Princess Sultana el Djemal? Hadrian must know, even if playing the game of love could cost him body and soul.
Clarissa Willoughby’s harmless deception was designed to open doors for a widow ready to shed her weeds. Once Hadrian begins his pursuit of “Sultana,” his passionate seduction makes Clarissa jealous of the exotic temptress she herself created. The game of love becomes more perilous than way when Clarissa sets out to win Hadrian’s heart, battling again his suspicions and her alter ego.
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Quilting Techniques for Beginners: Learn How to Quilt
Crafts & Hobbies > Quilts & Quilting
Author: Elizabeth Betts
Learn how to quilt with the fantastic guide to quilting for beginners by Liz Betts. Start by learning the basics of piecing and how to use a rotary cutter, then making a quilt sandwich, quilting, and finally, binding your new project. A fantastic guide for anyone looking to start a new hobby, Quilting Techniques for Beginners will have you quilting in no time.
Humor > Satire
Author: Jack Dougherty
“Thank You For Smoking” meets “House of Cards” in this fast-paced, sharp satire about the business world.
After aspiring novelist Francis Scanlon is expelled from a prestigious graduate creative writing program, he is forced to become a spin doctor at the Prock Chocolate Corporation while he awaits the publication of his masterpiece.
But Francis’s expectations of easy money and literary glory are thwarted by a paranoid boss determined to run him out of the company, a charlatan writing coach, a snarky reporter, a sanctimonious public health crusader more Goebbels than Gandhi, an oily U.S. Senator with presidential aspirations, and a radical Muslim cleric with absolutely no sense of humor.
As the story unfolds in San Francisco, Washington, New York, Krakow, Mumbai, Jakarta, and a series of lush equatorial corporate jet refueling stations, Francis is swept up by market forces and transformed from pretentious literary cliché to reluctant executive to master practitioner of the black art of corporate power-politics. The story ends up, rather unexpectedly, as a surprisingly sweet romantic comedy as well.
Mirage (Destined #1)
Romance > Contemporary
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Mira and Kylee meet Danny and Skylar during freshman orientation, their first week of college. Two sets of best friends embark on a new adventure together, forming life long bonds.
Mira and Danny are looking forward to their future as husband and wife. Everything was going according to plan. That was until tragedy struck them on graduation night leaving three broken people to pick up the pieces.
Skylar has always stood in the background, watching his best friend begin a life with the woman he fell in love with until he can no longer keep a distance.
Right when Mira thinks her life is back on track it spirals out of control. What if everything you thought you knew was nothing more than a mirage?
The Binding (The Velesi Trilogy)
Fantasy > Paranormal
Author: L. Filloon
Two nights after her eighteenth birthday, Lily is attacked while out jogging but is saved by Tharin Lunar, a Sidhe prince. When she discovers her attacker is her own brother, Lucas, who disappeared four years ago, Lily refuses to believe he would truly hurt her and becomes determined to find Lucas and bring him home. She finds Lucas’s disappearance is somehow tied to Tharin; so when he informs her that she is his betrothed and must return with him to Velesi, fulfill a treaty between their families and unite the two strongest clans through their marriage, Lily agrees. However, she is not going to Velesi for a wedding, but to bring home her only family, Lucas.
On their journey to the borders of Velesi, the realm of the Thirteen Clans, they are pursued by a Sidhe assassin group call the Ange, meet with an ogre crime lord that ends badly, deal with a sleazy troll motel manager, and when they discover there is a bounty on their heads, they must keep one step ahead of every assassin, bounty hunter and low-life criminal from Velesi.
Shoot First, Ask Questions Never
Literature & Fiction > African American > Romance
Author: Fanita Pendleton
When Lawrence “GOD” Dunbar was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and on kingpin drug charges, twins Monique and Dominique set the seven cities on fire. Highly equipped to run the kingdom that GOD built, they take over his criminal empire determined to annihilate everyone who ever thought about bringing their father down.
Agent Lucinda Beverly has her own agenda for the demise of the man the world calls “GOD” and she will stop at nothing to see his empire crumble.
Dollar Bill, GOD’s little brother believes he should by birth be next in line to inherit the empire and plans on killing anything in his path to get it, family or not.
Enter into a world where revenge is deadly and family loyalty is lethal.
Water: The Essential Ingredient for Life
Engineering > Civil > Environmental > Hydrology
Author: C.D. Shelton
On Earth, 96.5% of the planet’s water is found in oceans and 71% of the Earth’s surface is vital for all known forms of life. We, ourselves are composed of 65% water. Previous civilizations have vanished from lack of water (due to droughts). Scientists in their search for life on other planets, check for the availability of water because water means life. No water, no life.
Learn how and why water is essential for our biological use such as metabolism, lubricants (Synovial, Pericardial, Mucus to name a few), and how it is used to transport substances through our body.
Mist Warrior (Legacy of the Mist Clans)
Historical Romance > Scottish
Author: Kathryn Loch
When he was twelve, his name was Branan Strickland. He was the heir to the Wardenship of Inglewood, a title to govern a Royal Forest and the land around it. But Branan’s father was an abusive sod, beating Branan and his mother for sheer sport.
Until the night when his father’s fist landed on the side of his mother’s head — a wound that would kill her in a few short hours. Devastated, Branan spent those last hours with her. Just when he thought his world couldn’t shatter any more, his mother told him the truth of his heritage.
Branan was not Strickland’s son, he was the son of a Scottish Laird, Raulf MacTavish. Strickland had murdered Branan’s true sire and forced his mother into marriage.
Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles)
Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction > Steampunk
Author: Ciara Knight
The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia
Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories
Author: C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes
Regular Price $6.99, Today $1.99
Narnia . . . a land frozen in eternal winter . . . a country waiting to be set free
Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, a series that has become part of the canon of classic literature, drawing readers of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over fifty years. This is a stand-alone read, but if you would like to explore more of the Narnian realm, pick up The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia.
The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter)
Author: Thomas Harris
Regular Price $7.99, Today $1.99
A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname–Buffalo Bill–is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter–Hannibal the Cannibal–who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, unusual tastes, and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs–and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
Warm Bodies: A Novel
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Isaac Marion
Regular Price $9.99, Today $1.99
R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board
Biographies & Memoirs
Author: Bethany Hamilton, Sheryl Berk
Regular Price $9.99, Today $1.99
The amazing story of the thirteen-year-old surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but never lost her faith — and of her triumphant return to competitive surfing.
They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing — not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack — could come between her and the waves?
That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii — a glorious part of the world, where it’s hard to deny the divine — Bethany responded to the shark’s stealth attack with the calm of a girl with God on her side. Pushing pain and panic aside, she immediately began to paddle with one arm, focusing on a single thought: “Get to the beach….” Rushed to the hospital, where her father, Tom Hamilton, was about to undergo knee surgery, Bethany found herself taking his spot in the O.R.
Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery)
Children’s Books > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Regular Price $6.99, Today $1.99
How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?
At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy’s gift — the “gift’ of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse — once and for all.
In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom’and she’ll have to obey?
The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition
Literature & Fiction > Horror
Author: William Peter Blatty
Regular Price $7.99, Today $1.99
Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent 57 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.
Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater.
Newly polished and added to by it author and published here in this beautiful fortieth anniversary edition, it remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2