Diana Dempsey tops today’s Buffet with Ms America and the Offing on Oahu, the first installment in her series of “Beauty Queen” cozy mysteries. This novel introduces beauty queen and budding sleuth Happy Pennington, who must clear her name when her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the pageant finale.

Diana is a former Emmy-winning TV news writer who left the field to write fast, fun romantic fiction. Her debut novel, Falling Star, was nominated for a RITA award for “Best First Book” by the members of Romance Writers of America. It centers on the personal and professional travails – and eventual triumphs – of a primetime anchorwoman.

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.

Mystery > Women Sleuths
Author: Diana Dempsey

Customers who enjoy books by Janet Evanovich are sure to enjoy MS AMERICA AND THE OFFING ON OAHU, the debut mystery in a fast and hilariously funny series about how being a beauty queen can be murder …

Ms Ohio Happy Pennington finds out it’s not all sequins and silicone when she competes on Oahu for the Ms America crown—the first national title of her life.
When her fiercest competitor tumbles dead out of the isolation booth during the televised pageant finale, Honolulu PD gets to thinking Happy might have killed her.

What’s the only thing a beauty queen worth her sash can do? Nab the real killer—even if that means tangling with snarky rival contestants, a local who claims to be Hawaiian royalty, a brooding helicopter pilot, and a pageant emcee hot enough to die for …

Romance > New Adult
Author: Hall S.E.

“You never have to be without me, Laney, never.”

He lied…my everything I ever knew, trusted, wanted…I am, in fact, without him.

On my own and out of my shell, I learn new things about life, friendship and…myself.

Like what you’ve always known may not be what you’ve always wanted.

Dane Kendrick awakened things within me that I never knew existed, unraveling and uncovering the real Laney Jo Walker.

I’m a NEW adult…so is my story.

Historical Romance > Sea Adventures
Author: Cheryl Howe

Felicity Kendall forced her passionate nature into hinding after a handsome rogue seduced her then sailed away with the profits from her father’s shipping company. Afterwards, she embraced the strictness of her mother’s faith, molding herself into a rigid spinster before her time. After ruining herself so thoroughly, she can never marry. Her only hope is to escape the strict mores of Boston’s Puritan population so she could be of use in her father’s enterprises in the Caribbean.

On Barbados, she discovers her father has added a new partner to his venture. Lord Christian Andrews might charm her father, but Felicity sees the scoundrel behind his handsome exterior. She won’t allow him to send her away, despite the fact a notorious pirate has targeted her father’s ships and murdered his other business partner. Felicity feels it her duty to sneak aboard Lord Christian’s ship before he sails away with her father’s fortune. What she discovers is a man capable of unleashing her denied lust, though their shared passion might destroy them both.

Romance > Contemporary
Author: Kimberly Kincaid

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s as if insult and injury have joined forces— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best.

Business & Money > Management & Leadership
Author: Andrew Tarvin

Are you stressed out at work? Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Are you looking for a way to step up your game? Do you realize that you spend nearly 50% of your waking hours at your job and therefore want to learn to enjoy it more?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above (or just want to learn how to use humor in the workplace), this book is for you.

In it, you’ll find ideas on how to use humor to improve communication skills, build stronger relationships, enhance creative problem-solving, execute more effectively and strategically disengage.

This smorgasbord of humor ways range from presentation tips to team-building activities, brainstorming methods to productivity tricks, stress relievers to ________ (fill in the blank because this book covers just about everything).

Romance > Westerns
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart

How do you tell a man there is something wrong with his child?

In THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, Brad Friessen wasn’t looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.

Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless, bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live-in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friessen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something’s seriously wrong with the boy, and the reclusive, difficult man who hired her can’t see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches until she stumbles across what she suspects are the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him, give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder—to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.

As their lives become intertwined, their attraction is unavoidable—a connection sparks between them.

Biographies & Memoirs > Humor
Author: Sunny Haralson

Beauty Tips for the Bereaved is the hilarious coming-of-age story of a young woman born to generations of poverty, who overcomes depression, a cutthroat custody battle, and her father’s decline from hepatitis C to emerge triumphant.

Part postmodern fiction, part survival guide for those who find themselves possessing a life that just won’t obey the laws of gravity. For the girl who has worried about her beauty regimen in a mental hospital or the dude who has been pooped on by a hobo. For survivalist new agers, online daters, fans of circus mice, and anyone who has ever driven past a trailer park and thought, “… but for the grace of God…”
And of course, there are beauty tips.

Children’s Books > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Dragons
Author: Dionne Lister

Readers who love David Eddings or Raymond Feist should try Shadows of the Realm.

Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed???

The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.

Contemporary Fiction > Romance
Author: Erika Marks
Willamena Dunn is having a lousy week. Not only is her baby sister about to marry into the family of Dunn-Right Preservation’s biggest professional rival, but the historic bungalow of her dreams has just been bought by the most infuriating (not to mention exceedingly handsome and notoriously wicked) man to ever hammer a nail in Magnolia Bay, Knox Loveless.
But when Knox offers her a wager she can’t refuse, a bet with the coveted bungalow as its prize, Willa is sure her bad luck might finally be turning around—until Knox surprises her with a passionate kiss, and suddenly all bets are off.

Could this be just another one of Knox Loveless’ games, or will two rivals finally surrender to a long-simmering attraction and declare a truce once and for all?

Theology > Christology
Author: D. R. Silva
Great Deception or Great Awakening? Find out what teachers in the modern grace movement are actually saying.
In this short and practical book, you will learn the foundational teachings of what has been deemed “hyper-grace.” You will see that the “hyper-grace” teachings being opposed today are actually Biblical concepts found in scripture, and that it’s the same Gospel Paul shamelessly preached, defended, and died for.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

Literary Fiction > Historical

Author: Sara Gruen
Regularly $14.95, Today $1.99

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out—orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive “ship of fools.” It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn’t have an act—in fact, she couldn’t even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

Fantasy > Epic

Author: John Bellairs
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99
THE FACE IN THE FROST is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control. A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom—-a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king. Both he and an improbable adventurer named Roger Bacon look in mirrors to see different times and places, which greatly affects their personalities and mannerisms and leads them into a myriad of situations that are sometimes frightening and often hilarious. Hailed by critics as an extraordinary work, combining the thrills of a horror novel with the inventiveness of fantasy, THE FACE IN THE FROST is the debut novel that launched John Bellairs’ reputation as one of the most individual voices in young adult fiction.

History > Americas > United States

Author: Simon Winchester
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author ofAtlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States.

Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

Psychological Thrillers

Author: Lynne Branard
Regularly $9.99, Today $1.99

A moving and eloquent novel about love, grief, renewal—and the powerful language of flowers.

Ruby Jewell knows flowers. In her twenty years as a florist she has stood behind the counter at the Flower Shoppe with her faithful dog, Clementine, resting at her feet. A customer can walk in, and with just a glance or a few words, Ruby can throw together the perfect arrangement for any occasion.

Whether intended to rekindle a romance, mark a celebration, offer sympathy, or heal a broken heart, her expressive floral designs mark the moments and milestones in the lives of her neighbors. It’s as though she knows just what they want to say, just what they need.

Yet Ruby’s own heart’s desires have gone ignored since the death of her beloved sister. It will take an invitation from a man who’s flown to the moon, the arrival of a unique little boy, and concern from a charming veterinarian to reawaken her wounded spirit. Any life can be derailed, but the healing power of community can put it right again.

Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Contemporary

Author: Roland Merullo
Regularly $13.95, Today $1.99

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he’d planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger–and amuse himself–he decides to show the monk some “American fun” along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world–and more important, his life–through someone else’s eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.

In Roland Merullo’s masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he’s missing in the most unexpected place.

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


space