Diane Henders tops today’s Buffet with Never Say Spy, the first installment in her popular nine-part mystery/thriller series. Part 10 is due later this year.
In addition to being a novelist, Diane is also a technical writer, computer geek, and ex-interior designer. To deal with HER mid-life crisis, she began writing adventure novels featuring a middle-aged female protagonist, Aydan Kelly. She says this seemed more productive than indulging in more typical mid-life crisis activities like getting a divorce, buying a Harley Crossbones, and cruising across the country picking up men in sleazy bars.
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Despite her penchant for weapons and ripe language, Aydan Kelly’s resumé reads ‘bookkeeper’, not ‘badass’. She’s leaving the city to fulfill her dream of rural tranquillity when she gets carjacked by a man who shouldn’t exist.
When RCMP officer John Kane kills her would-be abductor, Aydan thinks her troubles are over. But Kane’s investigation implicates her in an international espionage plot, and criminal charges become the least of her worries when she’s targeted by the very spies Kane suspects her of aiding.
Pity her enemies. Because nobody’s tougher than a middle-aged woman who wants her dream back.
Saul, who has lived his entire life on the edge of the Copperton Forest—known for its strange and unusual wildlife—knows little about what stalks him. He knows only that it is dark, and powerful, and unnamable—and that it has stolen his nine-year-old son, Ezzy, from him.
Now he must travel into those ethereal woods, further upriver than he’s ever gone, into a wondrous, yet surreal and nightmarish world unlike anything he’s ever known, to recover his son from the shadows, if he can survive the journey…
Seven years ago, Matthew Logan ran out on his wedding to June Leigh.
Life is good for fledgling dress-designer April Leigh. She couldn’t be happier that her sister has found a new love, and is excited about her very first commission, June’s wedding dress.
On learning June has invited runaway groom Matthew Logan to the wedding, April has to intervene. Matthew’s presence will ruin everything – her father hates him, and just the sight of him in the church might give her mother a heart attack.
Matthew Logan has no intention of going to June’s wedding, but intriguing April’s arrival on his doorstep sparks his interest and he can’t resist getting to know her better. When a disaster forces them together neither can deny the passion that combusts into a red-hot affair.
Discovering the truth about the past shifts April’s feelings from lust to love, but bitter experience has taught Matthew to guard his heart.
When it looks as though Matthew will lose her forever, will he fight or flee?
Having just escaped from inmate work detail, Tess is on the run and has one goal: get her daughter back. So, hitching a ride to Sarasota, where her daughter is staying, seemed like a good idea at first. That is until she realized her Good Samaritan is clearly suffering from the recent loss of his wife.
As the miles go by and they get closer to Sarasota, she comes to suspect that this crazy widower may in fact be a murderer and they’re transporting a body in the trunk of his car. With the police hot on their trail, Tess isn’t about to let a little murder stand between her and her daughter — no matter how many bodies start piling up.
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When public relations expert Olivia Reese stumbles onto evidence of a dangerous conspiracy right before Christmas, there’s only one man she can call for help. Billy “The Kid” Blake is a member of an elite military unit—the Hostile Operations Team—and he’s Olivia’s former lover.
Billy never forgot the sexy woman who rocked his world—and his bed—before she walked out on him. Now that she needs his help, he’ll do anything he can to keep her safe. But as time runs out and the snow piles up, can Billy and Olivia work together to thwart a lethal plot against the Pentagon without getting involved again?
TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?
When she hears that her younger brother Danny has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch relents from her vow never to return to Destiny, the small Louisiana town in which she grew up. She plans to leave immediately after the funeral, but instead soon finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father, the man who owns the town’s sole industry, an iron foundry, and in effect runs the lives of everyone who lives there.
As she feared, Sayre learns that nothing has changed. Her father and older brother, Chris, are as devious as ever, and now they have a new partner-in-crime, a canny and disarming lawyer named Beck Merchant, who appears to be their equal in corruption.
Soon, Sayre is thrown in closer contact with Beck and becomes convinced that something more sinister is at play than her father’s usual need to dominate people and events. As she sets out to learn just what did happen to Danny, she comes to realize that there are many secrets in Destiny—secrets that hide decades of pain and anger, and that threaten at any moment to erupt and destroy not only her father and brother, but perhaps Sayre herself.
Something’s in the air this holiday season, and it could be the beginning of a wonderful Christmas romance…“Candy Canes and Cupid” by Fern Michaels
All private investigator Hannah Ray wants for Christmas is a quiet day at her Florida beachfront condo. When her biggest client insists she join him on a Colorado ski trip, she has little choice—but what she finds on her arrival could melt the coldest heart…
“White Hot Christmas” by Nancy Bush
Aspiring PI Jane Kelly likes to pretend she’s a bah-humbug kind of girl, but she’s had mistletoe on the brain ever since she shared a kiss with her boss, Dwayne. Before she can hope for a repeat performance, Jane must solve a kidnapping that’s as twisted as a candy cane—and not nearly as sweet.
“Seven Days of Christmas” by Rosanna Chiofalo
Five years ago, Bianca Simone received a wonderful early Christmas gift from her boyfriend, Mark—a week amid the stunning Alpine scenery of Innsbruck, Austria. Now she’s back under very different circumstances, but Mark has one more special gift in mind…
“A Smoky Mountain Gift” by Lin Stepp
Veda Trent is back in Townsend to fill in as temporary manager of the Crafts Co-op, but she’s not planning to stay. Though the mountain town is small, it holds lots of unsettling memories. Yet the wind can change, bringing with it new opportunities—and the chance to create the kind of Christmas Veda has always longed for.
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.
Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europeâ€™s first great walking city.
A century of planned development made Paris both beautiful and exciting. It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. And it gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. By 1700, Paris had become the capital that would revolutionize our conception of the city and of urban life.
Sometimes the next best thing is what you’ve been looking for all along…
Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.
While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear—and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe. But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?
Filled with excitement and delight, Meant to Be is the story of a young woman torn between urban pressures and small-town pleasures.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2