Bestselling historical fiction author Courtney Milan tops today’s Buffet with A Kiss for Midwinter, a holiday novella. As one reviewer put it, the book is “a wholly rendered love story complete with history, fully realized characters and a genuinely joyful happy ending.”

courtneyCourtney has been busy since her debut novel was published in 2010. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and she’s been a RITA finalist and an RT Reviewer’s Choice nominee.

Courtney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Before she started writing books, she experimented with numerous occupations. She has trained dogs, written legal briefs, sold newspaper subscriptions, and written computer programs.

As usual, each book here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours, except for the Bargain books in the yellow section below. 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.)

A Kiss for Midwinter (The Brothers Sinister, Book 1.5)

Historical Romance
Author: Courtney Milan
A Kiss for Midwinter (The Brothers Sinister, Book 1.5)

Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. And he has a plan to do it.

If only his plans didn’t so often go awry…



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A Shoulda Woulda Christmas

Genre Fiction > Holidays > African American
Author: Michelle Stimpson
A Shoulda Woulda Christmas

After being fired twice in the same day, Chaka Stringer wonders how much worse her pointless life as the wife of an underachieving husband and mom of two musty pre-teen boys can get. If only she had finished college and picked a different husband, her life would be better…or would it?

Through a mysterious haze, Chaka gets her shot at fame, fortune and the passionate relationship with her high school crush who never quite left her heart. But what ugly truths about herself will be revealed in the process? And what about the life she left behind?

Near to the Heart of God: Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns

Christianity > Music > Hymns
Author: Robert J. Morgan
Near to the Heart of God: Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns

The lyrics of our favorite hymns are rich in images that can help us in our daily walk with God–they are miniature Bible studies that lead us effortlessly toward worship, testimony, exhortation, prayer, and praise. They’re bursts of devotional richness with rhyme and rhythm. They clear our minds, soothe our nerves, verbalize our worship, summarize our faith, and sing our great Redeemer’s praise. Bestselling author Robert J. Morgan has gathered 366 hymns, including favorites such as “Amazing Grace” and “Rock of Ages,” as well as classic, lesser-known gems such as “In the Garden” and “Teach Me to Pray.”

Each devotional begins with Scripture, includes a story about the hymn or its writer and the lyrics to the hymn, and ends with a prayer. An index of hymn titles and first lines is included. What better way to end your devotional reading than with a song in your heart?

Stone Song

Literary Fiction > Historical
Author: Win Blevins
Stone Song

Of all the great warriors of Native America, Crazy Horse remains the most enigmatic. Scorned from his childhood for his light hair, he was a man who spurned the love of finery and honors so characteristic of Lakota Sioux warriors. Despite these differences, Crazy Horse led his people to their greatest victory at the Battle of the Little Big Horn where General Custer fell.

Crazy Horse’s entire life was a triumph of the spirit. In youth, Crazy Horse was set aside by his powerful vision of Rider, the spiritual expression of his future greatness, and by the passion and grief of his overwhelming love for a woman. It was only in battle that his heart could find rest. As his world crumbled, Crazy Horse managed to find his way in harmony with the age-old wisdom of the Lakota—and to beat the US Army on its own terms. He lived, and died, his own man.

Grandma’s Favorites: 30 Tasty Time Honored Cookie Recipes

Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Cookies
Author: Mary Brown
Grandma's Favorites - Over 30 Tasty Time Honored Cookie Recipes

Mary Brown has put together a collection of over thirty Time Honored Cookie Recipes from her Grandma Ruth’s recipe box. Mary’s grandma has won over 50 Blue Ribbons at the county fair over the years for her cooking. The love for her family and commitment to great taste shows in each of these cookie recipes. Most of the recipes included in this book have been baked in Mary’s family’s kitchens for over 80 years. These old fashioned cookie recipes are easy to make and a treat to eat.

Remembered (The Vistira Trilogy: Book 1)

Romance > Fantasy
Author: E. D. Brady
Remembered (The Vistira Trilogy: Book 1)

Emily’s past is a mystery. Left abandoned on the steps of a police precinct as a young girl, she is unaware of the love she left behind in another world. When she seeks hypnotherapy to deal with haunting dreams of a handsome stranger, she is thrown into memories of being kidnapped and almost murdered.

Kellus’s heart is torn apart by the strange and devastating disappearance of the only woman he would ever love. A secret kept from him as a child turns out to be the catalyst in a devious plot to control the world of Vistira. But first, the power-hungry Dinora, aided by the traitorous Lionel, needed to eliminate the one woman who could prevent them from bending Kellus to their will.

With the help of their family, the young couple must find a way back to one another and end the threat posed by their enemies, not only for their own sakes, but also for the safety of their entire world.

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna (The Batch Magna Novels)

Contemporary Fiction
Author: Peter Maughan
The Cuckoos of Batch Magna (The Batch Magna Novels)

 

When Sir Humphrey Strange, 8th baronet and squire of Batch Magna departs this world for the Upper House (as he vaguely thought of it, where God no doubt presides in ermine over a Heaven as reassuringly familiar as White’s or Boodle’s), what’s left of his estate passes, through the ancient law of entailment, to distant relative Humph, an amiable, overweight short-order cook from the Bronx.

Sir Humphrey Franklin T Strange, 9th baronet and squire of Batch Magna, as Humph now most remarkably finds himself to be, is persuaded by his Uncle Frank, a small time Wall Street broker, to make a killing by turning the sleepy backwater into a theme-park image of rural England, a playground for the world’s rich.

But while the village pub and shop put out the Stars and Stripes in welcome, the tenants of the estate’s dilapidated houseboats tear up their notices to quit, and led by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook and the one-eyed Lt-Commander James Cunningham, they run up the Union Jack and prepare to engage …

Gangsters of Shanghai

Thrillers > International Mystery & Crime
Author: Gerry O’Sullivan
Gangsters of Shanghai - An International Mystery Thriller

The severed head in the bamboo birdcage swayed above the teeming marketplace. It told Constable Mike Gallagher everything he needed to know about Shanghai.

It’s 1927. The son of a rural Irish cop, Gallagher joins the Shanghai Municipal Police. to escape an Ireland crippled by its recent bitter independence fight, and to trace the aristocratic woman whose memory still haunts him. They would venture together to China, Fiona once promised. Then the IRA torched her family estate. Everybody believes she died there. Everybody but Mike Gallagher.

Shanghai. Pearl of the East or Whore of the Orient? Depends on who you ask. It’s a cesspool of poverty, thronged with refugees, gripped by civil war. But for some it’s still a fever dream: jazz clubs and opium dens, celebrities and spies, easy money and easier women. Gallagher encounters the city’s biggest philanthropist, a man called Big Ears Lu – who is also its creepiest racketeer. He falls for a hooker who gives him sex he never imagined. But does his collusion with Lu keep her trapped in the House of Multiple Joys? Shanghai in 1927 is a city where after dark anything seems possible. A city where anyone can be crushed, and anyone corrupted. Even an innocent Irish cop.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

The Orchardist

Historical Fiction
Author: Amanda Coplin
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99
The Orchardist

At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison.

In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.

Christmas on Mimosa Lane (A Seasons of the Heart Novel)

Romance > Holidays
Author: Anna DeStefano
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99
Christmas on Mimosa Lane (A Seasons of the Heart Novel)

Includes Reader’s Guide for book club discussions.

Anna DeStefano presents a touching Christmas story about love, loss, and healing—and the joys of coming home.

A childhood spent on the streets leaves Mallory Phillips longing for a normal life and a perfect Christmas. Now an elementary school nurse in Chandlerville, Georgia, Mallory’s dream to blend into the picturesque community isn’t working out. She’s once more living a loner’s existence. Then an emotionally fragile seven-year-old appears in her living room in the middle of the night, and Mallory’s isolated world is turned upside down.

This is Polly Lombard’s first Christmas without her mother, and she won’t utter a word to anyone—except Mallory. She believes Mallory holds the key to helping her father overcome his sadness. Despite Pete Lombard’s lingering grief over his wife’s death and concern for his daughter, his resistance to their mysterious neighbor crumbles as he spends more time with Mallory and falls for her amazing heart. But when her past returns to haunt her, is Mallory strong enough to keep the Lombard family in her life? And can the spirit of Christmas heal these broken souls and bring them all the joyous, loving holiday they deserve?

The Black Prism

Fantasy > Magic & Wizards
Author: Brent Weeks
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99
The Black Prism

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

The Sojourn

Genre Fiction > War
Author: Andrew Krivak
Regularly $14.95, Today $2.99
The Sojourn

The Sojourn, winner of the Chautauqua Prize and finalist for the National Book Award, is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser’s army, surviving a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy.

A stirring tale of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that was inspired by the author’s own family history, this novel evokes a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, and Germans fought on the same side while divided by language, ethnicity, and social class in the most brutal war to date. It is also a poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

If on a winter’s night a traveler

Contemporary Fiction > Literary
Author: Italo Calvino
Regularly $14.00, Today $2.99
If on a winter's night a traveler

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration–“when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded.” Italo Calvino’s novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. In another, it is a tragedy, a reflection on the difficulties of writing and the solitary nature of reading.

The Reader buys a fashionable new book, which opens with an exhortation: “Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.” Alas, after 30 or so pages, he discovers that his copy is corrupted, and consists of nothing but the first section, over and over. Returning to the bookshop, he discovers the volume, which he thought was by Calvino, is actually by the Polish writer Bazakbal.

Given the choice between the two, he goes for the Pole, as does the Other Reader, Ludmilla. But this copy turns out to be by yet another writer, as does the next, and the next.The real Calvino intersperses 10 different pastiches–stories of menace, spies, mystery, premonition–with explorations of how and why we read, make meanings, and get our bearings or fail to.

… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2