Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

austenTopping today’s Buffet is Emma, a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters.

When her former governess finds happiness as the bride of a local widower, the brilliant and beautiful Emma Woodhouse — one of Jane Austen’s immortal creations — flatters herself that she alone has secured the marriage and that she possesses a special talent for bringing lovers together. The young heiress next busies herself with finding a suitable husband for her friend and protégé, Harriet Smith, setting off an entertaining sequence of comic mishaps and misunderstanding in this sparkling comedy of English-village romance. Beneath its considerable wit, the novel is also the story of a young woman’s progress toward self-understanding.

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Emma (Open Road)

 Fiction > Classics

Emma (Open Road)

The timeless romance starring one of Jane Austen’s most unforgettable characters.
Emma Woodhouse is a privileged young woman whose greatest pleasure in life lies in matchmaking for anyone but herself. Written, by Austen’s own admission, as “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like,” Emma’s charm and wit exist in constant tension with her capacity for selfishness and vanity. Despite her intelligence, Emma stumbles from one catastrophe to the next—from a misguided attempt at securing a husband for her friend Harriet Smith to her disastrous meddling in the affairs of new arrivals Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax—before ultimately falling into her own unexpected happy ending.
Both a discerning look at the strictures of Regency England and an enchanting comedy of errors, Emma remains a classic two centuries since it was first published.

Of all Jane Austen’s heroines, Emma Woodhouse is the most flawed, the most infuriating, and, in the end, the most endearing. Pride and Prejudice‘s Lizzie Bennet has more wit and sparkle; Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey more imagination; and Sense and Sensibility‘s Elinor Dashwood certainly more sense–but Emma is lovable precisely because she is so imperfect. Austen only completed six novels in her lifetime, of which five feature young women whose chances for making a good marriage depend greatly on financial issues, and whose prospects if they fail are rather grim. Emma is the exception: “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.” One may be tempted to wonder what Austen could possibly find to say about so fortunate a character. The answer is, quite a lot. –Alix Wilber

Build A Man (Serenity Holland Book 1)

 Romantic Comedy

Build A Man (Serenity Holland Book 1)

The perfect man is out there . . . he just needs a little work.

Slave to the rich and the rude, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she’s a high-flying tabloid reporter. When she meets Jeremy Ritchie — the hang-dog man determined to be Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between — Serenity knows she’s got a story no editor could resist.

With London’s biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy’s progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success. But when Jeremy’s surgery goes drastically wrong and she’s ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, Serenity must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.

In Firm Pursuit (Vernetta Henderson Series Book 2)

 Thrillers > Legal

In Firm Pursuit (Vernetta Henderson Series Book 2)

Poised to make partner at a high-powered L.A. law firm, Vernetta Henderson takes on what appears to be an open-and-shut case of sexual harassment. As the case proceeds, Vernetta soon begins to suspect that her corporate client may be involved in a far-reaching cover-up. The deeper she digs, the more the case spirals out of her control. Determined to find the truth, Vernetta eventually unravels a conspiracy of greed and violence that places her career—and her very life—at risk.

Modern Sorcery: The First Jonathan Shade Novel

 Mystery > Private Investigators

Modern Sorcery: The First Jonathan Shade Novel

A husband armed with a sword hacks apart his wife in a Denver grocery store. There are dozens of witnesses, and the crime is captured on the security cameras. To the police, it’s an open-and-shut case.

To Naomi, the daughter of the couple, it’s evidence of dark magic. She hires her ex-lover, a private investigator named Jonathan Shade to prove her father is innocent.

Shade specializes in paranormal cases, but he isn’t buying it. Still, he takes the case, hoping to rekindle their relationship. Instead, Shade finds himself mixed up in supernatural intrigue with wizards, magically engineered assassins, and an ancient sorcerer returned to life who’s willing to kill anyone who stands in his way.

Too bad Shade doesn’t have any magic.

He’s Her (The Vicarage Bench Series Book 2)

 Romance > Time Travel

He's Her (The Vicarage Bench Series Book 2)

He’s Her is not like any other paranormal romance. It’s quirky. And the romance is all in the heroine’s head. No, that’s not quite right. The hero. He’s in the heroine’s head. And he’s not happy to be there!!

Bear Biker Love: A BBW Shifter Romance

 Romance > Holidays

Bear Biker Love: A BBW Shifter Romance

An Alpha Bear Who Must Find His Mate…

When his small clan of bear shifters is murdered, Alex Andreas embarks on a quest to find more of his kind. But before the lone Alpha can begin his search by heading to the Colorado Rockies, he must lose the band of Hunters that are pursuing him and find his mate: a curvy, brunette beauty who isn’t even aware that a touch of bear blood runs through her veins.

A BBW Who Takes a Chance on Fate…

Nina Parks is having a lousy night. First, her ex-boyfriend’s new fiancé ruins Friday night happy hour. Then she finds a crashed motorcycle in her driveway. Not only that: the hunky, leather-wearing rider is injured and refuses to go to the hospital. Nina agrees to help the sexy biker, only to find that his injuries aren’t from his crash and now they’re both in danger!

Will They Take a Ride with Destiny?

Pulled into Alex’s world, where nothing is quite what it seems and she isn’t sure who to trust, Nina finds herself torn between the man of her dreams and the life he wants her to leave behind. When the truth is finally revealed, will she follow her heart and join Alex on a romantic ride with destiny?

Enchanted Secrets (Witches Of Bayport Book 1)

 Horror

Enchanted Secrets (Witches Of Bayport Book 1)

A modern day tale of romance, mystery, and witches.

When shy, eighteen-year-old Kendra meets the new guy at school, Tyler, she can’t help but be drawn to his irresistible charms. Later, she agrees to visit his family’s new shop, Secrets, and is drawn into a world that takes her breath away. Unfortunately, where magic reigns, so does danger, and she is forced into an adventure that leaves her racing against the clock to stop an evil curse.

Crochet: Learn how to Crochet for Beginners

 Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts > Crocheting

Crochet: Learn how to Crcohet for Beginners with the Complete Guide on Crocheting with Step by Step Instructions with Pictures (How to Crochet Book 1)

If you are looking for a fun hobby that will give you the satisfaction and thrill of creating useful and beautiful projects, crochet is for you. In this book we will start from the very beginning. I am writing this book for absolute beginners, so if you’ve never picked up a crochet hook don’t worry. Together we will learn all about yarn, crochet hooks and equipment, basic stitches, Granny Squares, color changes, and I will share some free patterns for you to try out your new skills.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

To Serve Them All My Days

Historical Fiction > Family Saga

To Serve Them All My Days

To Serve Them All My Days is the moving saga of David Powlett-Jones, who returns from World War I injured and shell-shocked. He is hired to teach history at Bamfylde School, where he rejects the formal curriculum and teaches the causes and consequences of the Great War.
Eventually David earns the respect of his students and many of his fellow teachers, against the backdrop of a country struggling to redefine itself. As David falls in love and finds himself on track to possibly take on the headmaster role, he must search to find the strength to hold true to his beliefs as the specter of another great war looms.

To Serve Them All My Days is a brilliant picture of England between the World Wars, as the country comes to terms with the horrors of the Great War and the new forces reshaping the British government and society.

The Christmas Secret

 Romance > Holidays

The Christmas Secret

When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love. Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns.
She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for.

Lorik (The Lorik Trilogy Book 1)

 Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

Lorik (The Lorik Trilogy Book 1)

Everyone knew he was deadly, even in Hassell Point, a city full of outlaws and thieves.  It was obvious at a glance, from his low slung knives, to the blood dripping from his knuckles.   But the stranger wasn’t looking for trouble, he wanted a fresh start and Lorik was determined to give him one.

Lorik is a teamster, delivering cargo throughout the kingdom of Ortis from his home deep in the marshlands where he has lived his whole life.  As rumors of magic and dragons in the northern kingdom of Yelsia cause the  King to march to war with his army, lawless men seize the opportunity to take what they can by force.  It could be the perfect time for Lorik to partner with the newcomer named Stone, but the young warrior brings problems of his own that could place Lorik and the people he cares about in even more danger.

Set in the world first introduced in the best selling Five Kingdoms series, the Lorik trilogy introduces new characters who will impact the destiny of this fabled land. Lorik is the story of a man whose world is suddenly turned upside down.  His concern for a friend earns him an enemy, his actions make him a hero, but his honor could cost him his life.

The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits

 Management & Leadership

The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits

Almost one in four American working adults has a job that pays less than a living wage. Conven­tional wisdom says that’s how the world has to work. Bad jobs with low wages, minimal benefits, little training, and chaotic schedules are the only way companies can keep costs down and prices low. If companies were to offer better jobs, cus­tomers would have to pay more or companies would have to make less.

But in The Good Jobs Strategy, Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, makes the compelling case that even in low-cost settings, leaving employees behind—with bad jobs—is a choice, not a necessity. Drawing on more than a decade of research, Ton shows how operational excellence enables companies to of­fer the lowest prices to customers while ensuring good jobs for their employees and superior results for their investors.

Ton describes the elements of the good jobs strategy in a variety of successful companies around the world, including Southwest Airlines, UPS, Toyota, Zappos, and In-N-Out Burger. She focuses on four model retailers—Costco, Merca­dona, Trader Joe’s, and QuikTrip—to demonstrate the good jobs strategy at work and reveals four choices that have transformed these compa­nies’ high investment in workers into lower costs, higher profits, and greater customer sat­isfaction.

The Key to Justice (A Marc Kadella Legal Mystery Book 1)

 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The Key to Justice (A Marc Kadella Legal Mystery Book 1)

A serial killer is on the loose in Minneapolis and the head of the investigation, Minneapolis police Lt. Jake Waschke, is feeling the pressure to find him. To make matters worse, the killer strikes again, this time across the river in St. Paul, and his victim is the daughter of a prominent politician.
Just when the investigation seems to be going nowhere, the police catch a break when the killer strikes yet again, except this time there is a witness who gets the police, including Jake Waschke chasing the killer through the streets of Minneapolis. During the chase Jake gets a good look at him and realizes his problems are only beginning when he recognizes the man and realizes he must do whatever is necessary to protect him.

A patsy is found and an arrest is made. The patsy’s fate is placed in the hands of criminal defense lawyer, Marc Kadella, when the brother of the accused turns out to be a former client of Marc’s. The case has heat and publicity far beyond anything Marc has ever dealt with and he tries to beg off. He knows he is over his head with a case of this magnitude and also realizes it could destroy his practice and drive him into bankruptcy. The brother convinces Marc to take the case playing on their past relationship, guaranteeing payment of his fees and Marc’s own belief that the man is innocent.

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