jodiJodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller whose last seven novels have debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She tops today’s Buffet with Where There’s Smoke,  an original short story she published this week exclusively in eBook format. In the story, Jodi introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited novel Leaving Time, which is scheduled for release in October.

Jodi studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton University, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while she was still a student. Realism – and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent – led her to a series of jobs following graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher. After earning a master’s in education at Harvard, she married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton. While she was pregnant with her first child, she wrote her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale, published in 1992.

As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours (except for the “Bargain Books” at the bottom of this page). 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 There’s Smoke: A Short Story

Literary Fiction > Sagas
Author: Jodi Picoult
Where There's Smoke: A Short Story

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed.

Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

Men Fake Foreplay … and Other Lies That Are True

Humor > Essays
Author: Mike Dugan
Men Fake Foreplay ... and Other Lies That Are True

Emmy Award winning comedy writer and Tonight Show comedian Mike Dugan’s Men Fake Foreplay is a funny and engaging look at the trials and errors encountered on the road to becoming a man in a “boys will be boys” world.

The title glibly answers the question, “Why do women fake orgasm?” But Dugan suggests foreplay is much more than what a man does before intercourse. What begins as a simple attempt to “figure women out” quickly shifts into a deeply considered exploration of the male psyche and the influences that shape a man’s character.

The result is a highly entertaining look at men’s experiences with trust, responsibility, sex, intimacy, commitment, feelings, masculinity, street-corner sex education, role models, break ups, bubble baths, dating, fantasizing, diamond buying, lying, blaming, shaming, crying, dancing, and, especially, their relationships with women.

Pennsylvania 1

Christian Fiction > Science Fiction
Author: Michael Bunker
Pennsylvania 1

Jedidiah Troyer is now a traveler. He has signed up for an emigration program that is colonizing the planet of New Pennsylvania. He just wants to start a farm and homestead on affordable land in a new Amish community. Space pioneering isn’t as easy as it sounds when you’re “plain.” Things might work out for Jed… if he can ever get to his new home.

Possess (The Possess Saga, Book 1)

Horror > Ghosts
Author: J.A. Howell
Possess (The Possess Saga)

Stumbling off the bus in Midtown, Harley Martin thought she found an escape from her old life.

She soon realizes it was anything but that.

Low on cash and options, she manages to find herself a cheap but surprisingly nice apartment. The catch? The last tenant, Brody Walsh, killed himself.

Or did he?

As disturbing dreams and hauntings start to occur, Harley realizes there may be much more behind the previous tenant’s death than a simple suicide. She finds her life further entangled with his when she learns that her new boss, Nolan, was also his best friend. Could this handsome but evasive pub owner have something to do with Brody’s death?

Trying to piece together the events surrounding Brody’s death proves to be a daunting task, but Harley can’t give up. Brody won’t let her. He is still in the apartment with her, trapped in limbo until she finds his killer.

Gridlock: A Scientific Thriller

Author: Alvin Ziegler
Gridlock: A Scientific Thriller

Jude Wagner should be on top of the world. His computer code unlocks mankind’s greatest scientific discovery–the human genome. Leveraging a vast computer network (that really exists), Stanford now can interpret an individual’s DNA with lightning speed. It brings hope to millions as personalized medicine becomes reality.

But rapid modernization provokes violent backlash. Wagner’s closest colleagues suffer violent deaths. Pitted against a powerful, faceless enemy, he hunts to rescue the person closest to him and forestall catastrophic GRIDLOCK.

Counting Down

Romance > Paranormal
Author: Lilah Boone
Counting Down (An End of the World Love Story)

Artist Abigail Conelly begins questioning her life when she discovers her long time boyfriend hasn’t exactly been faithful. Soon after, apocalyptic nightmares fill her nights with ancient prophecies and impending doom. As news reports from all over the globe start reporting disaster, Abby realizes her dreams are becoming reality.

In the hopes of surviving, she flees to her family farm in Kansas where an old fallout shelter is buried underground. Upon her arrival she meets Kyle Windstone, a very unusual Mid-west farmer with equally unusual abilities. Immediately they are drawn to each other by a greater purpose neither of them fully understands. Together they will learn what it takes to survive and find the courage to love along the way.

The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure

Children’s eBooks > Growing Up & Facts of Life
Author: Monique Bucheger, Mikey Brooks
The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure

Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about.

When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

Temp: An Accidental Fairytale

Fantasy > Urban
Author: A.E. Mayer
Temp: An Accidental Fairytale

You might imagine the Collision that catapulted magical creatures to Earth would make every moment miraculous. But jobs were just as dull, and life could be just as boring. Traffic still stunk, only now with dragon Flyways above highways, the stink was worse than ever. Jackson Belle Bee Elders (Bee for short) is a promising Magical Sciences major who ends up smack in the middle of the Southern home town she tried to escape.

Her lofty dreams of adventure only land her under fluorescent lights as she turfs creatures to temp jobs for Beveled Star Magical Staffing (B.S. for short). But everything changes when the cautious temp meets a friend who will dramatically alter her holiday weekend and her life. Nevermind that the friend is a wolf working for a despicable djinn who might use him to destroy the planet and everyone in it.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

Biographies & Memoirs > Composers & Musicians
Author: Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Charles R. Cross
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99
Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

The story of Heart is a story of heart and soul and rock ’n’ roll. Since finding their love of music and performing as teenagers in Seattle, Washington, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, have been part of the American rock music landscape. From 70s classics like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to chart- topping 80s ballads like “Alone,” and all the way up to 2012, when they will release their latest studio album, Fanatic, Heart has been thrilling their fans and producing hit after hit.

In Kicking and Dreaming, the Wilsons recount their story as two sisters who have a shared over three decades on the stage, as songwriters, as musicians, and as the leaders of one of our most beloved rock bands. An intimate, honest, and a uniquely female take on the rock and roll life, readers of bestselling music memoirs like Life by Keith Richards and Steven Tyler’s Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? will love this quintessential music story finally told from a female perspective.

Between Love and Honor

Historical Romance
Author: Alexandra Lapierre, Jane Lizop
Regularly $4.99, Today $2.00
Between Love and Honor

Jamal Eddin Shamil is only eight years old when he is stolen from his native Caucasus Mountains and whisked away by Russian soldiers to the glittering court at St. Petersburg. There Czar Nicholas takes a special interest in his exotic Muslim hostage, the eldest son of Chechen warrior chief Imam Shamil. In St. Petersburg, Jamal Eddin is immersed in imperial life, educated alongside the czar’s own sons and gradually maturing into the consummate courtier.

Through it all, he remains true to the Muslim faith of his father—until he falls in love with a beautiful Russian aristocrat. To marry her he must convert to Christianity, a sacrifice Jamal Eddin is prepared to make for the woman he loves. But he doesn’t realize that there are greater forces at work, forces that have lain in wait for Jamal Eddin to come of age and serve the purpose for which he was groomed. And when he is called to return to his native land and take his rightful place as leader of the Muslims, Jamal Eddin must choose: reject his people to follow his heart or abandon his bride to fulfill his duty.


Thrillers > Legal
Regularly $2.99, Today $0.99

Micah Grayson is an eager rookie fresh out of law school. Raphael Bianco is a degenerate senior associate who’s never met a temptation he could resist. Gabe Weiss is a millionaire senior partner who has a dream life. All three are litigators at Sullivan & Adler, the most powerful law firm in Manhattan. Two of them share a lover. One of them will kill in cold blood. But who is his victim? A dark why-dun-it set in the backstabbing conference rooms of corporate law.

Incriminating Evidence (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez, Book 2)

Thrillers > Crime
Author: Sheldon Siegel
Regularly $2.99, Today $0.99
Incriminating Evidence (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Legal Thriller, Book 2)

There’s a new challenge for defense attorney Mike Daley–ex-priest, ex-husband, ex-public defender–and it’s a high-profile zinger: a case he doesn’t think he can win for a client he can’t stand.

It starts with a phone call Mike Daley never expected to get, from District Attorney Prentice Marshall Gates III, San Francisco’s chief law enforcement officer and front-runner candidate for California attorney general. Friends they’re not, but Gates needs Daley now–badly. He’s just been arrested. A couple of hours earlier he woke up in his hotel room and found the dead body of a young male prostitute in the bed. Prosecutors are already talking the death penalty, and there’s nothing in the mounting evidence to convince Daley and his partner–and ex-wife–Rosie of Gates’s innocence. But even if he’s lying, it’s their job to defend him.

Sure enough, the deeper Mike and Rosie dig, the seamier their findings. From a shady Internet entrepreneur who trades flesh for cash to a prominent businessman who uses muscle to keep his enterprise prospering, Mike and Rosie chase down leads that take them from the depths of the Mission District, where drugs and bodies are always for sale, to the gated mansions of Pacific Heights, frantically trying to piece together the shocking truth of what actually happened, even as the trial itself is under way.

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

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