At the top of today’s Buffet is an insider’s look at the making of the most popular TV show of all time, “I Love Lucy.” This book first appeared in hardcover in 1996, and the Kindle edition includes lost scenes from the show and rare Lucille Ball audio.

lucyAmazon’s review staff had this to say:

Laughs indeed as Jess Oppenheimer charts his rise from radio station gofer to inventor of the sitcom, as he winds up writing–then producing–Lucille Ball’s show, first on radio, then on television. Luck, too, as the author recounts the good fortune that has him, within minutes of arrival in Hollywood, sitting down at a lunch counter and getting a tip that secures a job within days and a career for life. Ironic, too, that this inveterate TV writer had to be cajoled for years to set down these Hollywood heyday memoirs. He never finished, and it was left to son Gregg to complete the book. All this, plus a reproduced Lucy script, and a CD-ROM filled with famous sketches!

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.)

Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time

 Biographies & Memoirs > Entertainers

Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time (with "I LOVE LUCY's Lost Scenes" and rare Lucille Ball audio)

Jess Oppenheimer, the man Lucille Ball called the “brains” of “I Love Lucy”, gives us a rare first-hand look at television history as it was being made. A rich entertainment resource, “Laughs, Luck…and Lucy” features a hilarious memoir, and scores of rare photos, three never-before-published scripts (including the only “I Love Lucy” script that Lucy or Desi ever refused to perform), plus links to web-based audio of Lucy’s classic radio comedy performances, unheard for more than 40 years! Oppenheimer’s book, written with his son, Gregg, is not only a reliable record of how “I Love Lucy” was conceived an executed, but also a humorous insider’s account of the broadcasting industry’s development from the wild early days of radio to television’s “golden age.”

This Kindle Edition contains the full script of Gregg Oppenheimer’s humorous play, “I Love Lucy: The Untold Story”, broadcast nationwide on SiriusXM Radio on Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday in 2011.

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1)

 Romantic Comedy

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1)

I had the perfect life.

Beautiful and loving husband.Three gorgeous little girls.
Successful career.

The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence.

Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse.

But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.

There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way.

Reese’s Cowboy Kiss: Witness Protection – Rancher Style: Blake’s Story

 Romance > Westerns

Reese's Cowboy Kiss: Witness Protection - Rancher Style: Blake's Story (Sweet Montana Bride Series)

Texan pageant winner, Reese Taylor, has a former classmate who wants her dead. Now she must leave her friends and family to enter a protection program on Emerson Ranch. A group of good-looking cowboys awaits her, but Reese has her eye on Blake Emerson, the one man too busy with the ranch to give her a chance.

Hostage Heart

 Romance > Anthologies

Hostage Heart

What happens when two desperate people suddenly find themselves alone in an isolated cabin? Kristi Palmer has reached a crossroads in her life. She heads to her beach cabin, hoping to find answers in the endless ocean waves, but instead she finds herself held hostage by a desperate man, a man on the run from the law.

But things aren’t always cut and dried and a night of fear slowly turns into a night of shared dreams, and finally, passion.

In the end, just one night will change Kristi forever.

Running in Place (Mending Hearts Book 2)

 Romance > New Adult & College

Running in Place (Mending Hearts Book 2)

Tatum O’Connell:

Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me – really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.

Recovery

 Romance > Contemporary

Recovery

I have the perfect life.

I’ve finally found my happy ending.

I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems.

What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?

Well…

This is our story.

The Magnificent Ambersons

 Literature & Fiction > Classics

The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons was a novel published in 1918 by Booth Tarkington. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1919.

The Magnificent Ambersons is the epic story of an American family’s traumatic tumble from the dizzying heights of fame and fortune. A dynasty spanning three generations, the Ambersons’ pre-eminence as society’s elite is threatened–not only by a hungry new breed of industrial entrepreneurs–but from its own arrogance and greed. At the center of the story is George Amberson Minafer, the pampered but pitiful, scion of the clan upon whose shoulders the fate of the family fortune will be won…or lost.

At once an exciting chronicle of a family’s rise to fortune and its tortured downfall, it is also a fascinating portrait of the forces that shaped American society.

The Fourth Sunrise

 Romance > Contemporary

The Fourth Sunrise

Joel Murphy is a baseball player who meets the love of his life when the team bus breaks down in Delta, Colorado. By chance, or by fate, Joel meets Christine in a diner and is smitten. Later that night, he sneaks out of the motel after the team curfew and spends hours getting to know Christine, who is a beautiful and passionate girl. By sunrise, he knows she’s the “one”.

When morning comes, he must leave with his team. Later, after a long and demanding season, Joel comes back for her and discovers that Christine has moved on…and married someone else.

That was thirty years ago…

Now in the present day, as Joel Murphy waits at a coffee shop in Delta to meet Christine for the fourth time in his life, and an intriguing young woman joins him to wait for her date, too. As the hour grows late, Joel begins to tell his new friend about Christine, who he has seen only three times over a period of decades. There is one important secret that he has kept from Christine, one that could tear them apart forever. As the hour grows even later, Joel’s heart needs a voice and he begins to spill all the secrets of his enduring and lifelong love for Christine.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

Fatal Decree (Matt Royal Mystery)

 Mystery > Hard-Boiled

Fatal Decree (Matt Royal Mystery)

When a serial killer shows up on Longboat Key, Florida after a twelve year absence, Matt Royal is stymied. The first woman killed on Longboat Key has ties to a secretive government agency for which Matt’s best friend Jock Algren works. Was this a coincidence or was she a targeted kill? Matt’s friend, Longboat Key detective Jennifer Diane (J.D.) Duncan investigates the murders but also seems to be a target of the killer. Why? And where has the killer been for the past twelve years?

And why has he come to Longboat Key when his earlier kills were all in Miami? The mystery deepens when Guatemalan gang-bangers try to kill Matt and J.D. and suspicions grow that Mexican drug cartels are somehow involved. The director of Jock’s agency orders him to do whatever is necessary to find the killer because of the death of the woman with connections to the agency. Will Jock simply take out the murderer or allow J.D. and the law to arrest, try and convict the bad guys? Matt’s life is further complicated by J.D.’s growing dissatisfaction with island living and her thoughts of returning to Miami.

Wild Horses (Sadie’s Montana Book 1)

 Romance > Amish

Wild Horses (Sadie's Montana Book 1)

The Miller family’s move from Ohio to Montana was, for the most part, uneventful, except that Sadie Miller had to leave her beloved horse, the palomino named Paris. Still, she likes the Montana snows and her job at Aspen East Ranch serving the ranch hands.
Unexpectedly, Ezra appears, the man who seems to be perfect in every way and fully intends to marry Sadie. But does she love him back? And who is this fascinating Mark, who helps rescue a dying horse and shows up at the Amish hymn-sing though he is English? Why can’t she get his dark eyes and tall stature out of her mind?
Now Sadie’s own close-knit family is falling apart. Mam claims her head is cluttered and unclear, and she no longer trusts herself to make a chocolate cake from scratch or to cut Reuben’s hair in a straight line. The worst part is that Dat refuses to acknowledge Mam’s struggles.
Sadie finds some refuge in Nevaeh, a black and white paint horse. But when a dreadful accident involving wild horses occurs, Sadie must move forward into the unknown future.

Rhapsody: Child of Blood (The Symphony of Ages)

 Fantasy > Epic

Rhapsody: Child of Blood (The Symphony of Ages)

Rhapsody, n, (1542) 1: a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation 2 archaic: a miscellaneous collection 3 a (1): a highly emotional utterance (2): a highly emotional literary work (3): effusively rapturous or extravagant discourse b: Rapture, Ecstasy 4: a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character.

Elizabeth Haydon is a major new force in fantasy. Equipped with a quick wit, Haydon has a sharp ear for dialogue, panache with characters, and that essential ability to transport her readers into her own fantastical world-a world so real you can hear the sweet music of Rhapsody’s aubade and smell the smoldering forges within the Cauldron.

Rhapsody is a woman, a Singer of some talent, who is swept up into events of world-shattering import. On the run from an old romantic interest who won’t take no for an answer, Rhapsody literally bumps into a couple of shady characters: half-breeds who come to her rescue in the nick of time. Only the rescue turns into an abduction, and Rhapsody soon finds herself dragged along on an epic voyage, one that spans centuries and ranges across a wonder-filled fantasy world.

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

 Animals > Wildlife

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of “rogue” wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn’t take them.

In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony’s experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

The Girl Next Door

 Horror

The Girl Next Door

A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children. Based on a true story, this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable.

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