Today’s top pick is a collection of last year’s favorite stories from Tor.com, famous for its science fiction and fantasy books. The authors include Dale Bailey, Leigh Bardugo, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, and Genevieve Valentine. While many anthologies published nowadays are ho-hum, this one is top-notch.
As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours (except for the “Kindle Daily Deals” on page 3). 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.)
Some of the Best From Tor.com, 2013 Edition: A Tor.Com Original
Rogue’s Honor (The Saint of Seven Dials)
Historical Romance > Regency
Author: Brenda Hiatt
To escape her stepmother’s matchmaking machinations, Lady Pearl runs away, pretending to be a common housemaid, with the help of her abigail. When she is rescued from the near-disaster of recognition by a charming serving-man, Pearl pretends to be simpleminded to safeguard herself from any unwanted advances. But soon she begins to suspect that her rescuer is far more than the common servant he seemed at first.
Luke St. Clair lives a double life, pretending to be a gentleman while in reality sustaining himself and the needy as the notorious Robin Hood-type thief, the Saint of Seven Dials. The last thing he needs in his life is a beautiful simpleton in need of protection. But “Purdy” proves to be anything but simple—or common! Once he learns the truth, does he dare continue, in the ballrooms of the elite, the flirtation that began in the slums of London? The risk is enormous, but Lady Pearl’s sweet kisses may just be worth it.
Venice Vampyr (Venice Vampyr #1)
Historical Romance > Regency
Author: Tina Folsom
Venice, early 1800s
Isabella Tenderini, a wealthy merchant’s widow rescues a stranger from drowning in one of Venice’s canals. And how does the man repay her selfless act? By kissing her – her, a respectable woman.
Not only is Raphael di Santori grateful for his life being saved, he would also like to thank his rescuer very intimately – more intimately than decorum allows. But then, Raphael has never been one to play by the rules – as a vampire he doesn’t have to.
Her Husband’s Harlot (Mayhem in Mayfair)
Historical Romance > Regency
Author: Grace Callaway
Not Quite a Wife
After a disastrous wedding night, proper Lady Helena Harteford fears for the fate of her new marriage. Disguised as a doxy, she tracks her husband down at a bawdy house to reason with him . . . and instead discovers the thrill of forbidden passion. An innocent ruse turns into a risky deception; how far will this once-wallflower go to win her husband’s love?
Unfit to be a Husband
Orphaned at an early age, Nicholas Morgan escapes his violent beginnings to become a successful merchant–only to discover that he is the legitimate heir of the Marquess of Harteford. His transition to the ton is rocky and made rockier when he marries above him. Torn between guilt and lust, he tries to protect his sweet, innocent wife from the demons of his past. But can he safeguard her from his own raging desires?
Caught between Past and Present
When a dangerous nemesis rises from Nicholas’ past, husband and wife must work together in order to survive. From the drawing rooms to the stews of Regency London, they find themselves caught in a game of passion and seduction. Will true love prevail? Or is Helena destined to remain . . . Her Husband’s Harlot?
The Beauty Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie)
Historical Romance > Medieval
Author: Claire Delacroix, Deborah Cooke
More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love…The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.
Lady Madeline’s heart is not for sale…especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline’s hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird’s command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her. She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys’s past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent
— and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem.
Science Fiction > Dystopian
Author: Jacqueline Druga
A normal spring morning cascades into a nightmare world for Mera Stevens as 1.8 billion children simultaneously fall ill and then vanish from the face of the earth. Her son, Jeremy, is one of them.
Increased natural disasters, onslaught of disease and other phenomena throws the world into chaos as it balances on the brink of extinction.
With communications down, Mera gathers the courage and strength she needs to trek across a dying country in search of a daughter she desperately hopes is still alive.
While en route to Seattle, Mera is joined by others on a similar mission. Their travels are not easy. Not only do they have to face nature’s roadblocks, they must combat the infected who have become their most deadly obstacle. More than just facing the physical and emotional challenges that test their survival, the group faces a journey that will take them much further than just a search for loved ones in a desolate world.
Shareholder Yield: A Better Approach to Dividend Investing
Business & Money > Investing
Author: Mebane Faber
Shareholder Yield: A Better Approach to Dividend Investing shows step-by-step how to find returns in a low yield world. Investors have flocked to dividend stocks in search of yield; however, fewer companies are paying out less in dividends due to legal, tax, and structural changes in the US markets. Dividend payments are only one use of a company’s free cash flow; other uses of cash include: share repurchases, debt paydown, reinvestment in the business, and mergers and acquisitions.
Consequently, investors in the 21st century must look to all of the direct and indirect ways in which companies distribute their cash to shareholders, a metric commonly referred to as “Shareholder Yield”. In this book, we analyze portfolios based on the various cash flow metrics and find that portfolios of companies with high shareholder yields outperform both broad market indices and high dividend yield portfolios by a substantial margin.
With all of the uncertainty in the markets today, Shareholder Yield helps the reader answer one of the most often asked question in investing today – “Where do I find yield”?
Marrying Mr Write (Mr Write Trilogy)
Author: Cassandra P Lewis
After a rocky few months of fighting to save her relationship, Rosie Alvez must fight for her life … What’s next for Rosie and Jackson? Will they make it through? Will they make it to the altar?
Love and Relativity
Romance > New Adult & College
Author: Rachael Wade
Love, life, and happily ever after? It’s all relative.
Marine biology student Emma Pierce lives in paradise—geographically speaking, anyway. Stranded on Sanibel Island, Florida, she works at a nursing home by day and spends her nights dodging the island’s infamous bad boy, Jackson Taylor, at her favorite karaoke bar. Trying to heal from the loss of her sister and a failed relationship she rerouted her life for, she’s ready to graduate and finally leave Florida behind.
When a run-in with Jackson and his rowdy crew goes sour at the bar one night, sparks fly and irreversible damage is done. It’s no secret that Jackson loves to get underneath her skin, but this time he’s gone too far. Now all he wants is to earn her forgiveness before she’s gone for good, but their ideas of closure—and the future—are enough to keep them worlds apart.
White is for Virgins
Teen & Young Adult > Romance
Author: S. Eva Necks
Emery Price was perfectly fine with being wallpaper. In fact, she applauded the idea. There was nothing she wanted more than to get
through her senior year unnoticed, distraction-free, with high honors and an acceptance letter to a prestigious university. Fox Evans, gorgeous and irresponsible, is the playboy that blurred her perfectly-planned vision. With his dirty jokes, dashing smirk, and notorious reputation he unintentionally kills any chances of Emery being a mere paper background. The handsome devil does so much damage she can’t even pass for a plain old carpet or a dim lamp in the corner of the room. Though as time passes, she minds less and less.
While balancing volunteer work with the American Red Cross, a job at the local Daycare center, and her schoolwork, Emery manages to: form a budding friendship with Fox Evans, deal with her parents’ unhappy marriage, and help her friends through their plethora of problems. An overwhelming year commences as Emery tries to keep up with life, spouting optimism and smiles to those in need. But when she finally manages to think about herself, there is little but pessimism and fear to be found.
What’s a girl to do?
High Seas Deception (Adventure Cruise Lines)
Romance > Mystery & Suspense
Author: Loucinda McGary
A DANGEROUS MISSION —
The Irishman is a ruthless mercenary who performs any task for the right price. His current assignment involves intercepting a dangerous package smuggled aboard the cruise liner Intrepid. If the contents reach Los Angeles, millions will die.
But only if the Irishman fails.
A DEADLY ATTRACTION —
When Adventure Cruise lines’ security officer Skylar Davidson finds the stowaway, she recognizes him from a bloody shoot-out she witnessed at LAX airport. But rather than being frightened, she’s drawn to the enigmatic Irishman, and quickly becomes embroiled in his desperate scheme.
Can they win this deadly fight? Or will it cost them their lives?
FALLEN CREST HIGH (FALLEN CREST Series)
Romance > Contemporary
Mason and Logan Kade are two brothers who did their own thing. They were rich and expected to attend her school, Fallen Crest Academy. They chose public school and now Samantha has to live with them. The problem is that she doesn’t care at all: about them, about her friends, about her cheating boyfriend, or even about her parent’s divorce. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe change is a good thing.
Science Fiction > Anthologies & Short Stories
Author: Simon Haynes
After delays and last-minute setbacks, the first colony ship leaves planet Earth for a distant star. Join the crew as they discover all is not as it seems…
The flight deck was spacious, with a wide console across the forward end, a large screen and, incongruously, an aluminium table with four chairs.
‘Where’s the umbrella?’ said Greg Roth, as he stared at the furniture.
Erin ignored him, and addressed the computer. ‘Give me a news feed,’ she said.
The screen flickered into life, showing an outside view of the ship against a backdrop of stars. A talking head appeared, inside an oval in the corner of the screen.
This is it, ladies and gentlemen, your last sight of the Glory before it leaves. This is a historical moment without parallel, a moment which opens the book on the Human conquest of space!
Fire In The Darkness (Darkness Series #2)
Fantasy > New Adult & College
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
It’s been four weeks since Ember Brycin witnessed what her powers are capable of. The Electrical Current Storm has turned Seattle, Washington into a natural disaster zone. The death toll is in the thousands with countless others homeless and hungry.
And Ember is the one who caused it. Something she will have to live with every day.
Those people who were unable to escape either turned quickly into gangs or live in shelters. Ember, on the other hand, can’t do either. With a price on her head and a Dark Dweller on her ass, she is constantly on the move. Both Light and Dark are hunting her for their own purpose to use her as a weapon or a pawn in the war between the Unseelie King of the Dark and the Seelie Queen of the Light.
Em needs help but doesn’t know who to trust: Lars, the mystery man Torin told her to find? Torin, the Seelie Queen’s personal knight, who has sworn to keep Em safe? Or Eli, who wants to turn her over to the Unseelie King, but whom she has an undeniable, intense connection with?
Second Hearts (The Wishes Series #2)
Teen & Young Adult > Romance
Author: G.J Walker-Smith
Charli Blake’s high tolerance for risk doesn’t always work in her favour. After a year of living out her dream of travelling the world, the sunny West African village of Kaimte would be her last stop. She’s bound for New York, in search of the boy she’d let go of long ago.
For Charli, nothing has changed. She’s travelled thousands of miles but hasn’t moved an inch. Adam Décarie still means everything to her.
But reality soon hits hard.
For Adam, everything has changed. Memories of the best love she’s ever known is all she has left, until Charli makes a shocking discovery. None of it had ever been real in the first place.
Days Like This: Jackson Falls Book 3 (Jackson Falls Series)
Women’s Fiction > Sagas
Author: Laurie Breton
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
For nearly two decades, they were best friends. Business partners. Musical collaborators. He was her rock; she was his beacon of light, both of them willing to open up a vein and bleed for the other. The one thing they weren’t supposed to do was fall in love. That wasn’t part of the plan. He was supposed to find Ms. Right and settle down. She was supposed to live happily ever after with charismatic rock icon Danny Fiore.
But fate had other plans for Casey Fiore and Rob MacKenzie. They did fall in love, the kind of love that addles your brain and tears out your heart and turns your world upside down.
The kind that leads to forever.
Humor > Satire
Author: Jack Dougherty
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.
Going Gluten Free: A Quick Start Guide for a Gluten-Free Diet
Diets & Weight Loss > Gluten Free
Author: Jennifer Wells
Are you looking for information about a gluten-free diet? Have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and need some helpful information? Do you have gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity? Are you interested in eating a low carb diet? If you answered yes to any of these, then Going Gluten Freeis a great quick-start and how-to guide that will help you find out what you need to get started.
If a gluten-free diet or a low-carb diet is what you are researching and desiring to do, this quick-start guide is full of helpful information that will give you a thorough overview as you make needed changes and learn how to eliminate gluten in your diet.
Some Like It Charming (A Temporary Engagement)
Author: Megan Bryce
Mackenzie Wyatt believes in two things: herself and her plan. And her plan is to keep her head down and to work hard until she can retire. Never mind that she doesn’t know what she’ll do once she retires– at least she won’t be working for the man anymore. Because even though he’s a gorgeous man, he’s still her boss and he likes to push her buttons.
Ethan Howell O’Connor’s charmed life comes to a screeching halt after his latest ex-girlfriend starts a fashionable trend in talking to the tabloids. Now all of Ethan’s old girlfriends are talking to the press, ruining his reputation, and wiping that charming smile right off his face. The only person who can brighten his black mood is the same person who can annoy him to kingdom come. He and Mackenzie have feuded since the day she was hired but now Ethan’s starting to realize: maybe those sparks were hiding a blazing fire.
Mackenzie’s about to find out that sometimes a gorgeous man can come up with a plan all his own, and it’s a given that it’ll mess hers up.
The End Came With A Kiss (Beautiful Dead)
Romance > Mystery & Suspense
Author: John Michael Hileman
My friends and I used to laugh about the zombie apocalypse, the absurdity of it. But when it came, it was nothing like the movies had portrayed. We couldn’t have had it more wrong. There was no gore. There was no blood or tearing of flesh. It was the most beautiful thing the world had ever seen, and that was what took us by surprise. We were not prepared to have our destruction lure us in like a harlot.
You see, the end did not come with a scratch or a bite. It came with a kiss.
The Regular (Coffeehouse Chronicles)
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Craig Laughlin, John Teubner
Every coffee house has one. That guy who sits in the corner, all alone, sipping his drink and seems to not be paying attention as the world passes by. The fact is, one of them might be watching, waiting, and planning….
Arousing Love, a teen novel
Teen & Young Adult > Romance
Author: M. H. Strom
Can it be true love when you’re only 15?
When 18 year old local boy, Zach, meets Joanna camping near his beach it is almost love at first sight until he finds out she’s only 15. He knows she’s too young but he has never felt like this about anybody before. She’s sexy and sweet and flirty and free and the most beautiful girl Zach has ever known.
Joanna is swept away by her feelings for Zach as they grow increasingly passionate with each other. It’s like God has whispered in her heart Zach is the one for her. Can it be true love when you’re only 15?
Children’s Book: Playtime with Monster
Children’s eBooks > Early Learning
Author: Michael Yu, Rachel Yu
Eric hates taking a bath. Eric hates brushing his teeth. Eric hates putting on his pajamas. Let’s face it, Eric hates getting ready for bed.
Thankfully, Eric’s mom and dad have the perfect plan to help their little boy. Find out what a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a monster has to do with it.
Mr. Planemaker’s Flying Machine
Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy
Author: Shelagh Watkins
Dell and Emmelisa Planemaker are two ordinary children who lead uneventful lives in a small town in Lancashire until they discover a unique computer that takes them on an extraordinary journey. They are guided by a strange-looking man from a far-off distant planet who helps them to undergo a tough space mission: to follow their father’s Trail of Light.
Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves
Children’s Books > Action & Adventure
Author: James Matlack Raney
A gypsy curse…
A shadow pirate…
An ancient treasure…
An adventure beyond mystery and magic!
Eleven year-old Jim Morgan once had a home, a life of comfort, and a future full of promise. But all that changed the night his father was murdered.
Now Jim is on the run from his father’s enemies, a wicked count and his vengeful son, and at the same time, trying to decipher the secret to the last mystery his father left him – the hidden location of an ancient treasure.