Topping today’s Buffet is a new romantic suspense novel from RITA-Award-winning author Janice Kay Johnson. Shroud of Fog is the first in her “Cape Trouble” series.

Janice is known for delivering stories that combine strong, realistic characters, compelling mysteries and deeply emotional romances. Her first four published romance novels were coauthored with her mother, Norma Tadlock Johnson. These were “sweet” romance novels, Janice hastens to add — she isn’t sure they’d have felt comfortable coauthoring passionate love scenes.

Janice graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in history and then received a master’s degree in library science from the University of Washington. She was a branch librarian for a public library system until she began selling her own writing.

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.)

Shroud of Fog: (A Cape Trouble Romantic Suspense Novel)

 Romance > Mystery & Suspense

Shroud of Fog: (A Cape Trouble Romantic Suspense Novel)

The secrets of the past haunt the present…

Cape Trouble, a tiny Oregon Coast town, was named for the dangerous off-shore reefs. But some of its citizens seek refuge from their own troubles…which have a way of following them.

Sophie Thomsen’s life had a Before and an After – marked by the terrifying morning when she found her mother dead in the foggy sand dunes, an apparent suicide. Now, twenty years later, Sophie returns to Cape Trouble, only to find her aunt brutally murdered. Although she swore never to set foot again on Misty Beach, Sophie takes over her aunt’s crusade to save the falling-down Misty Beach Resort and its wild sand dunes and beach from development. But Sophie’s memories threaten a killer…who doesn’t dare let her remember too much.

Having come to Cape Trouble to heal his own wounds, Police Chief Daniel Colburn investigates the present day murder, but begins to suspect Sophie’s mother was another murder victim, not a suicide. Everything he learns increases his fear for the woman he is coming to love.

Sophie’s fate may be to die in a shroud of fog, just like her mother before her, unless she can trust Daniel to help her uncover her past in time.

High Stakes (Vittorio Crime Family #1)

 Women’s Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

High Stakes (Vittorio Crime Family #1)

There are a million reasons why I should stay away from Vincent Cesare.

This was supposed to be temporary. I was supposed to deal for his illegal card games and get some quick cash. That was it. I wasn’t supposed to fall for him.

Little by little, I see the monster grinning at me through the cracks in his pretty suit. He won’t tell me what he does, and I’m not sure I want to know. The darkness in his eyes terrifies me. He’s seduced me into his web of lies with his charm, and now I’m trapped in his life. He’s taken control over me without me even realizing…or resisting.

I’m in way over my head.

He promised that nothing would ever happen to me. The Vittorio family wants me dead and there’s only one person I can turn to. But what scares me is what I’ll have to do.

I’ll need to become his.

Cat-Eye Witness (A Klepto Cat Mystery Book 2)

 Mystery > Cozy > Women Sleuths

Cat-Eye Witness (A Klepto Cat Mystery Book 2)

Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the collected funds go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom.

Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time.

Detective Craig Sledge is new to this book, as is Damon, Iris’s errant son. Sledge finds this to be one of the muddiest cases he has ever worked, with inconsistent clues and no apparent motive. He’s constantly surprised, perplexed and impressed by the cat’s uncanny ability to come up with clues he has missed. His fascination with the attractive Iris Clampton also mystifies the detective.

Blonde Date: An Ivy Years Novella (The Ivy Years)

 Romantic Comedy

Blonde Date: An Ivy Years Novella (The Ivy Years)

A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?

As a sorority pledge, there are commandments that Katie Vickery must live by. One: thou shalt not show up for the party without a date. Two: the guy shall be an athlete, preferably an upperclassman.

Unfortunately, Katie just broke up with her jerkface football player boyfriend. Even worse, her last encounter with him resulted in utter humiliation. She’d rather hide under the bed than attend a party where he’ll be.

Yet staying home would mean letting him win.

Enjoying herself tonight was out of the question. She could only hope to get through the evening without her blind date noticing that he was spending the evening with a crazy person.

Whispers and Wishes (Sage Springs Series, Book 1)

 Romantic Comedy > Paranormal

Whispers and Wishes (Sage Springs Series, Book 1)

**UtopYA 2014 nominee for best debut novel and best paranormal book of the year.**

Eliza Monroe has been traveling the United States for three years, immersing herself in the towns she visits as she searches for the mother she’s never known. She hopes returning to her grandmother’s inn in Sage Springs, Mo., will provide the break she needs to evaluate her lonely life.

What Eliza isn’t expecting is to have two men enter the picture, not making her decision to stay or leave any easier. One has been her foundation, while the other is as comfortable as she is hopping from city to city. Throw in a kooky grandmother, a cheerful best friend, a sarcastic guest, a town where residents and spirits interact like neighbors, and Eliza has little time to contemplate her future.

Friendships grow, webs are spun and lies are revealed before Eliza comes to terms with what she wants in life and learns what’s really important.

Pinned Up (Pinned Up Trilogy Book 1)

 Romantic Comedy > Urban

Pinned Up (Pinned Up Trilogy Book 1)

Twenty-five-year-old Nina Moretti lives a double life of sorts. She’s a victim advocate during the day and as a side gig, lives out her 1940s fetish as a pin-up model. This arrangement suits her well, as does never having a steady boyfriend. Trust is an issue that was ruined for Nina at a young age and has yet to be recovered. While she may not “do” serious relationships, she has found fulfillment in her work and hanging out with her best friend, Kade—the greatest sidekick any woman could possibly want. All is well in Nina’s hectic, but satisfying life…

That is, until she meets Josh, a stunningly handsome man who has a notorious reputation as a ladies’ man. Living in San Francisco, California, Nina has met her fair share of eligible bachelors. But there is something different about Josh, something that compels her to try and get to know him better. For his part, Josh has always been reluctant to commit to any woman, largely as a way to spite his well-meaning, but rather overbearing mother. Nina, however, sparks his interest in a way that no other woman has before. What are two people, both scared of commitment, supposed to do?

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life

 Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life

What if you could ask C. S. Lewis his thoughts on some of the most difficult questions of life? If you could, the result would be Dr. Alister McGrath’s provocative and perceptive book, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis. Best-selling author, prominent academic, and sought-after speaker, Dr. McGrath sees C. S. Lewis as the perfect conversation companion for the persistent meaning-of-life questions everyone asks.

What makes Lewis a good dialogue partner is that his mind traveled through a wide and varied terrain: from atheism of his early life to his conversion later in life; from his rational skepticism to his appreciation of value of human desires and imagination; from his role as a Christian apologist during World War II to his growth as a celebrated author of classic children’s literature. The questions Lewis pondered persist today: Does life have meaning? Does God exist? Can reason and imagination be reconciled? Why does God allow suffering?

Let McGrath be your insightful guide to an intriguing conversation with Lewis about the ultimate questions.

The Art of Apprenticeship: How to Hack Your Way into Any Industry, Land a Kick-Ass Mentor, and Make A Killing Doing What You Love

 Job Hunting & Careers > Internships

The Art of Apprenticeship: How to Hack Your Way into Any Industry, Land a Kick-Ass Mentor, and Make A Killing Doing What You Love

Do you ever ask yourself why am I in this job? Why do I keep doing what’s comfortable day in and day out knowing I don’t love it? Do you spend countless hours at work, thinking about all of the things you’d rather be doing? Have you had that nagging thought, “I am meant to do something else, something big?” but didn’t know where to start or what to do next?

Do you feel stuck in your current position or job? Do you feel burned out or uninspired even when others tell you how great you are at your job? Have you thought of going back to school, so you can have a job that you actually love? Reading this book will help you discover your passion, gain clarity about your gift to the world and guide you on your quest to pursue something great. In this book you discover how to find your passion, identify your gift and what you can do to connect with leading experts in any field, even if you have no industry connections. You will read about other people’s stories of how they changed their lives and how yours will change too.

The Art of Apprenticeship is a book about discovering your passion, connecting to masterful leaders and hacking your education so that you can leave your boring job and and find the path to doing what you love. Not only will you be inspired to take that first step, you will be guided through the process of finding your ideal lifestyle, connect to what makes you unique and develop the habits you need to be successful.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

Because She Loves Me

 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Because She Loves Me

A gripping tale of jealousy, obsession and murder, from the No.1 Bestselling author of The Magpies.When Andrew Sumner meets beautiful, edgy Charlie, he is certain his run of bad luck has finally come to an end.

But as the two of them embark on an intense affair, Andrew wonders if his grasp on reality is slipping. Items go missing in his apartment. Somebody appears to be following him. And as misfortune and tragedy strike his friends and loved ones, Andrew is forced to confront the frightening truth…

Is Charlie really the girl of his dreams – or the woman of his nightmares?

The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet’s Pride and Prejudice

 Women’s Fiction > Historical

The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet's Pride and Prejudice

The third Bennet sister, Mary, steps into the spotlight in this graceful retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

As a middle child flanked by two pairs of closely bonded sisters, marginalized by her mother, and ridiculed by her father, Mary Bennet feels isolated within her own family. She retreats to her room to read and play the pianoforte and, when obliged to mix in society, finds it safer to quote platitudes from books rather than express her real opinions. She also finds it safer to befriend those who are socially “beneath” her. When wealthy Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley glide into her sisters’ lives, Mary becomes infatuated with an impoverished young musician, the son of her old wet-nurse, who plays the fiddle at the Meryton assemblies.

It is only after her sisters tease her about her “beau with the bow” that Mary is forced to examine her real feelings and confront her own brand of pride and prejudice.

An elegant accompaniment to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Forgotten Sister plucks the neglected Mary from obscurity and beautifully reveals her hopes and dreams.

Punktown

 Horror > Anthologies

Punktown

Like Ray Bradbury, Jeffrey Thomas writes dark science fiction at the border of horror, and like Bradbury’s collection, The Martian Chronicles, Thomas’s Punktown uses a shared setting to tell very different stories of very different characters, both human and alien. The Martian Chronicles follows the rise and fall of the human colonization of Mars, while Punktown‘s nine stories (seven previously unpublished) follow a more subtle arc, examining the course of human development, from destructive youth through the dangers of parenthood and career to late adulthood, when losses and the weight of memories bring their own horrors.

As The Martian Chronicles uses the future to consider mid-American, midcentury concerns, Punktown uses the future to reflect a fin-de-siècle present shaped by brutally rapid change, by rampant abuse, by the dehumanizing acts of governments and corporations, and by serial-killer epidemics and schoolroom massacres. But in the end, Punktown little resembles The Martian Chronicles. And, though it is not in the same league as Bradbury’s classic, Punktown demonstrates that Thomas is a rising talent of considerable power and imagination.In “The Reflections of Ghosts,” an artist clones himself to make art for sadistic patrons, until he finds himself trapped in the ultimate self-absorption.

The Proving Ground

 History > World > Transportation > Ships

The Proving Ground

In The Proving Ground, journalist and lifelong sailor G. Bruce Knecht tells the staggering story of the 54th Sydney to Hobart yacht race–an annual event that is always an extreme test of courage and skill in some of the world’s most treacherous seas, but which in 1998 would become the most disastrous race in modern yachting history.

Although he was already fifty feet from the boat, Brownie didn’t have any trouble spotting Glyn. He looked small, and utterly helpless…. Glyn was already having a hard time keeping his head out of the water, and everyone quickly reached the same unthinkable conclusion–Glynn was going to die and there was nothing to do but watch…. Steve Kulmar was more shaken than anyone. When he first came on deck, he believed Glyn was looking directly back at him.

Of the 115 boats that started under clear skies in Sydney, just 43 would finish. Six sailors lost their lives, and a further 55 were plucked from the storm after the fleet had been decimated by unforecast hurricane winds and 80-foot-high waves.

Knecht’s style is novelistic, though measured, with a strong journalistic sensibility marshaling what must have been at times appallingly poignant eyewitness testimony into a coherent account of the disaster. His intended focus is beyond the headlines, and by concentrating on the experiences of a handful of individual crews, The Proving Ground succeeds in conveying the agonies of their desperate, sometimes futile struggles to survive–and offers some insight into what drew them to the sea in the first place, and why so many of the survivors have felt compelled to face it again. —Alex Hankin, Amazon.co.uk

Snowflakes for all Seasons: 72 Fold & Cut Paper Snowflakes

 Crafts & Hobbies > Papercrafts

Snowflakes for all Seasons: 72 Fold & Cut Paper Snowflakes

Snowflakes You Can Make is the best snowflake book ever created! Why make boring old, everyday cut-out snowflakes when you can customize them for any special situation? This craft book is perfect for kids of all ages, and will turn anyone into a snowflake pro. There are snowflake patterns for Valentines Day hearts, St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks, birds and flowers for spring, the Liberty bell for Independence Day, leaves for fall, spiders and pumpkins for Halloween, pilgrims for Thanksgiving, Christmas trees, bells, and candles for Christmas, plus lots of fun “traditional” snowflakes (snowflakes that look like, well…snowflakes!) and more.

Perfect for scrapbooking, Snowflakes You Can Make is a crafter’s dream, and no classroom should be without a copy. The book contains 64 full size patterns, instructions for folding, cutting and decorating your snowflakes, and a complete index.

After spending years showing people how to make paper snowflakes and copying hundreds of patterns for them, Cindy Higham decided to put her patterns in a book for everyone to enjoy. She lives in Utah with her family.

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