At the top of today’s Buffet is one of those rare books that can be enjoyed equally by readers of all ages — Message in a Bauble by H.Y. Hanna. “Dog lovers young and old will love this rip-roaring, bark-serious adventure,” said Midwest Book Review.

H.Y. Hanna was born in Taiwan and has been a globe-trotter most of her life, from growing up in the United Arab Emirates to working in the glamorous world of London advertising to emigrating Down Under. Along the way, she somehow managed to pick up a wonderful husband, a huge, slobbery dog, two rescue cats, an assortment of cardboard boxes and a slightly dodgy “trans-atlantic” accent. After graduating from Oxford University, she tried her hand at a variety of jobs before returning to her first love: writing. She is the author of an award-winning children’s mystery series and also writes romances, mysteries and romantic thrillers for adults.

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.)

Message in a Bauble (Big Honey Dog Mysteries Christmas Special Edition) – a mystery adventure for children ages 8 to 12

 Children’s eBooks > Mysteries & Detectives

Message in a Bauble (Big Honey Dog Mysteries Christmas Special Edition) - a mystery adventure for children ages 8 to 12

Christmas intrigue. Daring rescue. Serious slobber.

When Honey the Great Dane finds a hidden note inside a strange Christmas bauble, the festive season takes a sinister turn. Was the note from a trapped child? Join Honey and her canine friends as they set off on a daring Search & Rescue while they race to solve the mystery of the message in the bauble.

This short novella is part of the Big Honey Dog Mysteries – perfect for fans of Erin Hunter’s “Warriors” and “Survivors” series, as well as classics like Nancy Drew and the Famous Five. Kids and dog lovers of all ages will love this action-packed Christmas mystery filled with suspense and humour – not to mention candy canes, gingerbread cookies and lots of mince pies! A great middle grade read or a book for parents and children to enjoy together.

Hidden Moon Bay (A Pelican Pointe Novel Book 2)

 Romance > Contemporary

Hidden Moon Bay (A Pelican Pointe Novel Book 2)

Starting over takes a heart of courage. Staying alive takes two.

Fleeing into the night along a dark coastal road, Hayden Ryan is determined to grab hold of a new life, free of the clutches of a ruthless Russian mobster—her former boss. But when she meets the ruggedly handsome deputy sheriff of sleepy Pelican Pointe, starting over grows ever more complicated. Fighting for freedom, yet trapped between a suspicious cop and a burning desire to be with him, can she survive with a price on her head?

Deadly Secrets (Mapleton Mystery Book 1)

 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Deadly Secrets (Mapleton Mystery Book 1)

Mapleton, Colorado’s police chief, Gordon Hepler, would rather be on the streets than behind a desk dealing with budgets and the town council, but he promised his late mentor he’d accept the position. And to Gordon, a promise is a promise, even if the person you made it to isn’t around anymore. However, doubts creep in, and he wonders if he was shoved into the job because his mentor thought he couldn’t cut it on the streets.

Everything changes when a fatal traffic accident well outside Mapleton seems connected to elderly Rose and Sam Kretzer, two of Mapleton’s most beloved citizens. The arrival of Megan, the Kretzer’s grown ward, and Justin, their grandson add to his troubles when Megan is mugged. In addition, Justin is renovating his grandparents’ house despite their objections, and then someone breaks in and the house is ransacked. When Gordon ties the car accident to a grisly murder in Mapleton—the first anyone in town can remember—he’s afraid he’s into more than he bargained for.

His fears are realized when his investigation seems to link the Kretzers to a Nazi war criminal. Can he work with the big-city detective brought in to assist? Will he be able to solve the crime without revealing the secrets of his citizens?

Those Who Dare (Raiding Forces Book 1)

 Literary Fiction > British & Irish

Those Who Dare (Raiding Forces Book 1)

The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler’s war machine by British forces – under the command of a U.S. soldier – “Those Who Dare” is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment volunteers his expertise to help slow their advance. What unfolds is a blend of military guerrilla tactics, suspense, humour, cultural and social commentary, and war buddy camaraderie – plus a little romance between the American GI and the widowed Lady Jane Seaborn. Along the way readers meet such colourful characters as Captain David Niven in MO-9 and Captain ‘Geronimo Joe’ McKoy with his Travelling Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium. The author – a decorated combat veteran – covers the details of war extensively, from the five points of contact of a parachute landing fall to descriptions of a British raider’s A-5 flinging ferries before the first 12-gauge shell casing hits the floor. As the novel ends, Major Randal’s men, fresh from Operation Tomcat in France, learn they will deploy via sea transport within 48 hours on their next mission. The second book, which is already written, tells that tale.

Confessions of a Turtle Wife

 Humor & Entertainment

Confessions of a Turtle Wife

A Hilarious Look at What it Takes to Live with a Hobby-Obsessed Spouse

You don’t have to know a thing about turtles or even care about them, but by the time you finish this hilarious, educational, and positively charming book, you’ll realize it’s not about turtles after all. It’s a cosmic New York love story … a guy obsessed with turtles and the woman who falls in love with him … and his chelonians.

When Anita Salzberg marries her husband, Allen, she discovers that she’s also married his “little” turtle hobby. While sports widows merely get dragged to the ball park, the football stadium, or the links, a turtle wife (or husband) gets hauled to the pet store, the pet wholesaler and the reptile expo. Over the course of the book and numerous improbable escapades, including sheltering a snapping turtle in the bathtub, ogling turtles having sex on the living room floor, and searching for turtles in pet stores across America, Turtle Wife becomes turtle lover.

Conference Crushing: The 17 Undeniable Rules On How To Network, Build Relationships, And Crush It At Networking Events

 Business & Money > Entrepreneurship

Conference Crushing: The 17 Undeniable Rules On How To Network, Build Relationships, And Crush It At Networking Events Even If You Don't Know Anyone

Interested in learning how to network more effectively?

Business conferences and other networking events often require a significant investment of your time and money, but are you getting the maximum benefit in return?

Is it really possible to build more relationships, grow your network, and easily maintain everything? Is it possible to get a positive ROI (return on investment) from every networking event you attend?

And, is it possible to become more successful in all areas of life by attending networking events the right way?

The answers are all “yes”.

Anyone can benefit from better networking skills, and Conference Crushing provides you with 17 highly effective skills you can put to work for building better relationships and growing a wider, stronger network.

Whether you’re a student trying to land a job, an entrepreneur trying to grow your business or someone who just needs a wider circle of influential people in their life, Conference Crushing is the tool you need.

Spirits of Christmas

Suspense > Ghosts

Spirits of Christmas

Spirits of Christmas is a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season. Suitable for readers aged 16 and over.**

‘The Blurb’: At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction.

Unwitting at first, Jude has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls.

Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas? Curl up with this festive novella to get yourself into the mood for Christmas…

Safe and Sound

 Romance > New Adult

Safe and Sound

This is Lola’s story. She has a secret no one can know. Once a safe haven, her home has turned into a prison, and she fears if she doesn’t somehow escape, she will lose herself completely.

She finds her escape in Jack; a troubled young man with a cynical smile and eyes that see all Lola tries to hide. But even Jack can’t save her from the evil at home.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

The View From Here

 Women’s Fiction > Contemporary Women

The View From Here

In this heartfelt, beautifully written novel, a woman with nothing left to lose finds the courage to start over in the last place she ever expected. . .Newly divorced Maggie Carter has little to show for her marriage except a pile of boxes and regrets. So when she learns she’s inherited an old house and an abandoned gold mine in Eureka, Colorado, she doesn’t hesitate to leave Houston behind. In Colorado, she can learn about her estranged father and take stock of her life. After all, where better to decide what your next move should be than in a cabin 10,000 feet above sea level?

Eureka is a tiny hamlet with a café, a library, and plenty of intriguing locals. There’s the colorful town mayor, Lucille, and her prodigal daughter Olivia, bitter librarian Cassie, and handsome, enigmatic Jameso Clark, who had a fascinating love-hate relationship with Maggie’s father. Then there are the soaring views of distant mountains and clear blue sky, of aspen trees and endless stars. Piece by piece, Maggie is uncovering her father’s past–and reconciling with her own. And in this small mountain town, she just might find a place where she truly belongs.

“Cindy Myers strikes gold with this warm-hearted novel about friendship, family, and second chances.” –New York Times bestselling author, Deborah Smith

Player Piano

 Science Fiction > Classics

Player Piano

Player Piano (1952), Vonnegut’s first novel, embeds and foreshadows themes which are to be parsed and dramatized by academians for centuries to come. His future society–a marginal extrapolation, Vonnegut wrote, of the situation he observed as an employee of General Electric in which machines were replacing people increasingly and without any regard for their fate–is mechanistic and cruel, indifferent to human consequence, almost in a state of merriment as human wreckage accumulates. Paul Proteus, the novel’s protagonist, is an engineer at Ilium Works and first observes with horror and then struggles to reverse the displacement of human labor by machines.

Ilium Works and Paul’s struggles are a deliberately cartoon version of labor’s historic and escalating struggle to give dignity and purpose to workers. The novel embodies all of Vonenegut’s concerns and what he takes to be the great dilemma of the technologically overpowered century: the spiritual needs of the population in no way serve the economies of technology and post-technology. Vonnegut overlies this grotesque comedy over tragedy, disguising his novel in the trappings of goofiness.

Not published–at Vonnegut’s insistence–as science fiction, the novel was nonetheless recognized and praised by the science fiction community which understood it far better than a more general readership, a dilemma which Vonnegut resentfully faced throughout his career. Bernard Wolfe’s dystopian Limbo and Player Pianowere published in the same year to roughly similar receptions; two “outsiders” had apotheosized technophobia as forcefully as any writer within the field. Throughout his career, Vonnegut was forced to struggle with his ambivalence about science fiction and his own equivocal relationship with its readers.

Bone Deep

 Romance > Mystery & Suspense

Bone Deep

Some secrets are best left close to the bone…

Jill Ellington’s twin sister hasn’t spoken a word since she allegedly murdered her husband and her three-year-old son is missing. No one in the small, idyllic town of Paradise saw or heard a single thing. The chief of police already has Jill’s twin convicted and her nephew dead and buried. Jill is going to need a miracle to uncover the truth.

Dr. Paul Phillips has a gift or a curse depending upon how sober he is when ask. He agrees to review Jill’s case to settle an old debt but five minutes in Paradise and he knows he has made a monumental mistake. This is the kind of case that broke him once before and he has no desire to go down that dark path again. But there’s something about Jill Ellington that won’t let him walk away. Paul’s ability to sense what others cannot once made him a legend…but he’s not that man anymore. Yet somehow Jill makes him yearn to be the miracle she desperately needs.

As they unravel a web of shocking lies that go back three generations, they uncover bone deep secrets that will rock the town of Paradise—if they can survive long enough to tell.

Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II

 History > Military > World War II

Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II

In the momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin. Mussolini’s capture and execution by Italian partisans, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four-year war in the European Theater. In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills readers with the first-person accounts of those who lived through this dramatic time.

In this valuable work of history, the author’s special achievement is weaving together the reports of famous and soon-to-be-famous individuals who experienced the war up close. We follow a young Walter Cronkite as he parachutes into Holland with a Canadian troop; photographer Lee Miller capturing the evidence of Nazi atrocities; the future Pope Benedict returning home and hoping not to get caught and shot after deserting his infantry unit; Audrey Hepburn no longer having to fear conscription into a Wehrmacht brothel; and even an SS doctor’s descriptions of a decadent sex orgy in Hitler’s bunker.

In skillfully synthesizing these personal narratives, Best creates a compelling chronicle of the five earth-shaking days when Fascism lost it death grip on Europe. With this vivid and fast-paced narrative, the author reaffirms his reputation as an expert on the final days of great wars.

Faith of My Fathers

 Biographies & Memoirs > Military

Faith of My Fathers

John McCain is one of the most admired leaders in the United States government, but his deeply felt memoir of family and war is not a political one and ends before his election to Congress. With candor and ennobling power, McCain tells a story that, in the words of Newsweek, “makes the other presidential candidates look like pygmies.”

John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. This is a memoir about their lives, their heroism, and the ways that sons are shaped and enriched by their fathers.

John McCain’s grandfather was a gaunt, hawk-faced man known as Slew by his fellow officers and, affectionately, as Popeye by the sailors who served under him. McCain Sr. played the horses, drank bourbon and water, and rolled his own cigarettes with one hand. More significant, he was one of the navy’s greatest commanders, and led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II.

John McCain’s father followed a similar path, equally distinguished by heroic service in the navy, as a submarine commander during World War II. McCain Jr. was a slightly built man, but like his father, he earned the respect and affection of his men. He, too, rose to the rank of four-star admiral, making the McCains the first family in American history to achieve that distinction. McCain Jr.’s final assignment was as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War.

It was in the Vietnam War that John McCain III faced the most difficult challenge of his life. A naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When Vietnamese military officers realized he was the son of a top commander, they offered McCain early release in an effort to embarrass the United States. Acting from a sense of honor taught him by his father and the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain refused the offer. He was tortured, held in solitary confinement, and imprisoned for five and a half years.

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