Carolyn Arnold tops today’s Buffet with The Day Job is Murder, the first installment in her “McKinley Mysteries” series. This novella is of the “cozy” variety, with no foul language or graphic violence. The series combines romance, mystery, humor, and adventure for lighthearted, easy reads.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near Toronto. Her writing has been compared to authors such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly and Tess Gerritsen, among others.

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.)

The Day Job is Murder (McKinley Mysteries, Book 1)

 Mystery > Cozy

The Day Job is Murder (McKinley Mysteries Book 1)

For Sean McKinley, working in Albany PD Homicide is great except for one thing–he’s in love with his partner Sara Cain. And even though she feels the same way about him, she convinced him they should just remain friends. Two years later, nothing has changed.
Yet, during the course of a murder investigation, when Sean finds out an old friend has died, it results in something that has the potential to change his life–and Sara’s–forever.
It goes to prove one unexpected act of kindness has the power to ripple throughout the years and bring happiness…even when The Day Job is Murder.

Picking Lemons: A C.J. Whitmore Mystery

 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Picking Lemons: A C.J. Whitmore Mystery

Economic theories can predict many things – just not the death of a renowned Economics professor. When Professor Edmund DeBeyer is found dead in his office, strangled to death by his own Ph.D. hood, the police don’t have to look further than his colleagues in the Economics Department for suspects. After all, Edmund was the most despised member of the department. C.J. Whitmore, the department’s only tenured female, (who also has a penchant for wearing pink cowboy boots to class) resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery using economic principles. Comparing tracking down murder suspects to to selecting a used car, she attempts to discern the real deals from the “lemons.” That is, which suspects are really telling the truth and which are lying to protect their guilt. Will C.J. be able to pick the lemon before her clever adversary strikes again?

As Bright as the Sun

 Pets & Animal Care

As Bright as the Sun

Highlights the journey of a dog named Bella. It chronicles the path that led her family to her, and the unimaginable circumstances she had to endure as a victim of dog fighting in order to make her way home. It’s a story of love and loss, filled with both laughter and tears. It is a story for every person who has ever advocated for and loved an animal, and in the end, “As Bright as the Sun” will make you want to stand up and cheer.

Mark of the Dragon Queen

 Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mark of the Dragon Queen

Kira has led a sheltered life, brought up by her widowed father, whom she adores. When he is arrested and imprisoned for a murder he allegedly committed 18 years before, she is devastated. So when she overhears an ex-student of her father’s planning to visit the prison, Kira decides to go, too. However, the student – Arun – is not who she thinks he is, and she soon learns that her father has not always been the man of integrity she has known for fifteen years.

Caught in a rebellion against the Lord High Councillor who would return the country to Wizard Rule, Kira finds that there is one more lesson she has to learn – about herself. Success depends on her, but is she willing to make the sacrifice it will require?

Texas Weddings (Books 1 and 2)

 Christian Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

Texas Weddings (Books One and Two): A Class of Her Own & A Chorus of One

When Laura Chapman’s husband of over twenty years passes away, she finds herself the sole provider for two teenage children, lonely and frightened, and determined to return to college to obtain a degree. Then she lands in the same history class with her daughter and finds herself offending the toughest professor on campus. Professor Andrew Dougherty, still a bachelor at forty-seven, has sworn off women. His heart was broken years earlier by a skittish fiancee. Just when Laura feels that she has no alternative but to drop out of school due to stress and finances, Andrew begins to realize that it is time for the battle to cease between them. He is beginning to discover that his feelings for Laura Chapman are not at all what he thought at first.

Ignite

 Romance > Contemporary

Ignite

They grew up together as the closest of friends… and then more. When Sara Nolan and Jaxon Barlow decided to be together, their relationship as a young couple was consumed by a love that was both passionate and beautiful. Sara had it all when it came to a boyfriend: romance, trust, and a protector of all things bad. Jaxon had given her his bleeding heart for the keeping.

The last thing Sara expected was to ruin it all. Falling into a darkness that turned her loving relationship into a chaos of deceit and violence, she walked away from the pain she was inflicting on the man she loved, never seeking to return again.

But when Sara is forced to return to her hometown, she didn’t anticipate for Jaxon to be there. Nor does she anticipate the change in him; a change so harsh and callous, he is a stranger with a dangerous agenda of his own. Ignited by her past feelings and the reminder of the guilt she carries in her heart, Sara attempts to avoid Jaxon at all costs… only to find herself trying to pull him out of the same darkness she was once in.

Broken (Oceanside Series Book 1)

  Romance > Contemporary

Broken (Oceanside Series Book 1)

Rila Miles has lost everything she’s ever loved. Losing her parents at a young age, left her lost and confused in life. As an adult, she experiences yet another tragedy. Will she get the healing she so desperately needs? Will she find God working in her life?

Vic is the handsome EMT, that rescues her. He only wants to take care of Rila, but is she willing to let someone get close to her again? Is he willing to let God use him?

Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (Maura DeLuca Trilogy, Book 1)

 Science Fiction & Fantasy

Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Maura DeLuca Trilogy (YA Vampire Romance) Book 1)

Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

The Bone Season: A Novel

 Science Fiction & Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary

The Bone Season: A Novel

Enter the world of Paige Mahoney, a gifted clairvoyant, a “dreamwalker,” in the year 2059. Her natural talents are considered treasonous under the current regime. Snatched away to a secret prison, she encounters another race, the Rephaim, creatures who wish to control the powers of Paige and those like her. One in particular will be assigned as her keeper, her trainer. But his motives are mysterious. To regain her freedom, Paige must learn to trust, in the prison where she is meant to die.

Rebellious Desire

 Romance > Science Fiction

Rebellious Desire

Before there was Downton Abbey, there was Rebellious Desire…in this classic Regency romance from bestselling author Julie Garwood, an American heiress must land a titled lord.

Of all the dukes in England, Jered Marcus Benton, the Duke of Bradford, was the wealthiest, most handsome—and most arrogant. And of all London’s ladies, he wanted the tender obedience of only one—Caroline Richmond.

She was a ravishing beauty from Boston, with a mysterious past and a fiery spirit. Drawn to the powerful duke, undeterred by his presumptuous airs, Caroline was determined to win his lasting love. But Bradford would bend to no woman—until a deadly intrigue drew them enticingly close. Now, united against a common enemy, they would discover the power of the magnificent attraction that brought them together…a desire born in danger, but destined to flame into love!

Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles, 1)

 Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles, 1)

Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she’s been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn’t believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.

It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey.

But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger. If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.

War is coming. The only choice becomes: Which side do you choose?

My Mother Was Nuts

 Biographies & Memoirs > Actors & Entertainers

My Mother Was Nuts

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.

My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.

Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.

Peony: A Novel of China

 Literary Fiction > Classics

Peony: A Novel of China

The Nobel Prize–winning author’s perceptive fable of cross-cultural passions in nineteenth-century China.
In 1850s China, a young girl, Peony, is sold to work as a bondmaid for a rich Jewish family in Kaifeng. Jews have lived for centuries in this region of the country, but by the mid-nineteenth century, assimilation has begun taking its toll on their small enclave. When Peony and the family’s son, David, grow up and fall in love with one another, they face strong opposition from every side. Tradition forbids the marriage, and the family already has a rabbi’s daughter in mind for David.
Long celebrated for its subtle and even-handed treatment of colliding traditions, Peony is an engaging coming-of-age story about love, identity, and the tragedy and beauty found at the intersection of two disparate cultures.  

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