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Area 51: Earth Abides (paid link)
Devastated by World War III, then an alien invasion coupled with Danse Macabre, a deadly virus attack, Earth is almost completely depopulated. The land is devastated. The sky is dark with nuclear winter. Despite the Swarm’s invasion ultimately being defeated, billions of humans were taken on board the Battle Core, infecting it and then wiped out when it plunged into the sun to prevent further infecting the Swarm.
The remnants of the invaders, monsters out of humanity’s worst nightmares, prowl the dark, shrouded landscape. The mothership, containing the Chosen has disappeared into Faster Than Light Transit to an unknown destination.
The survivors, including former Green Beret Mike Turcotte, the young Metabols in their biodome, Nosferatu and Nekhbet, the last of the Elders, and others are scattered and in despair.
Playing with Fire (Island Fire Book 1) (paid link)
Derek Severson left his career as a firefighter after tragedy shook him to his soul. Running his uncle’s beachside bar on a south Texas island gives him the chance to heal, find peace, and avoid entanglements. That is, until Macey, his childhood friend, tracks him down.
After two years abroad in a developing country, Macey Locke is ready to dive in to her Peace Corps-inspired foundation. But when she learns Derek is suffering, she can’t turn her back. Six weeks on a tropical island to help the guy she’s loved for years? No-brainer.
Derek can’t help but notice she’s not the same girl he used to know. She’s more. More self-assured, more determined, more irresistible. But is she enough for him to let go of his newfound fragile peace and give in to the passion sparking between them?
When Alanis McLachlan learns that her mother’s been murdered, she’s completely unsurprised. Not that Alanis had been given a glimpse into the future. That would be crazy, right? It’s just that her con-woman mom, Barbra, was bound to cross the wrong people sooner or later. It’s why Alanis was lucky to get out of her childhood alive – and why she hadn’t spoken to her mother in decades.
But there is a surprise in store for Alanis. Barbra left her something in her will: a New Age shop in the tiny tourist trap town of Berdache, Arizona. The White Magic Five & Dime.
After going to Berdache to claim her inheritance, Alanis is drawn into the mystery around her mother’s death. Did one of Barbra’s customers finally get wise to her con-artist ways and take revenge? Alanis thinks she knows how to find out: She’ll make those customers her own until she can find the killer. Alanis McLachlan, cynic and unbeliever, is about to become a tarot card reader.
Twenty million in diamonds missing. Kate Sawyer, a cop in witness protection, holds the key. If she could only remember.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s clouds the past. Stem cell therapy is working to clear it. But time is running out for Kate. One night she finds a dead man in her bathtub with a note stuck in his pocket.
I know what you’ve done.
See that gorgeous guy over there? Standing behind his brother at the altar, best man while I’m maid of honor. Zach McLaughlin. He was my first love. Hot, enticing, out of reach.
Now he’s back in my life, the two of us reconnecting when my best friend marries his brother. I haven’t seen Zach for years, now he’s next to me, irresistible in his tux. He looks at me with his sweet blue eyes, and his mouth quirks just a little. Enough to show me he’s noticing me, and wondering how we’ll get through this.
I’ll try to keep it casual, but I know inside that seeing Zach after all these years … is going to change everything.
Chasing Justice: A Matt Royal Mystery (paid link)
Matt Royal is going back to the courtroom. He has agreed to defend his good friend and wife of Longboat Key’s Police Chief. Abby Lester has been charged with the murder of Nate Bannister, an unlikeable, shady character. He was found shot to death in his downtown Sarasota condo and the evidence points to Abby as the killer.
Matt cannot refuse Abby’s pleas for help, despite having retired from the practice of law several years earlier. Now, he must face a hotshot prosecuting attorney with a record of twenty-two wins and zero losses in murder trials. As he begins to investigate, Matt finds that nothing is what it seems. Police, politicians, academics, real estate moguls and other powerful forces are tied together in a cauldron of issues that Matt must untangle to get at the truth. Can he rekindle his legal skills and outwit the prosecution pitted against him? Matt knows he must, as the life of his friend hangs in the balance.
Bubble, Bubble. . .
It seems shop owner and newly appointed Whispering Falls Village President June Heal has it all: Beauty, wits, bewitching powers…Sheriff Oscar Park. Life is good. Because life in Whispering Falls is magical.
Cures and Trouble. . .
But when a member of the community is found dead on the steps of A Charming Cure, June’s homeopathic cure shop, and her fingerprints show up at the scenes of local robberies, she is kicked off the village council and her powers fall under scrutiny. Until it’s uncovered who is wreaking havoc on the town…June’s magic is suspended.
Primordial Threat (The Exodus Series, Book 1) (paid link)
The year is 2066 and the world is oblivious to the threat it faces.
The fate of humanity lies on the shoulders of Burt Radcliffe, the new head of NASA’s Near Earth Object program.
He’s been rushing the completion of DefenseNet, a ring of satellites that are both part of an early-warning system as well as the means to eliminate incoming threats.
Yet Burt knows that despite the world’s best efforts, nothing can be done about the alert he’s just received.
Coming out of deep space is a danger that’s been approaching since the dawn of time. A black hole. An unstoppable threat that promises death for all in its wake.
Why Not Me? (paid link)
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares insightful, deeply personal stories about falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, and believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses.
The Blade Itself (The First Law Trilogy Book 1) (paid link)
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Best Seller (paid link)
Ten-year-old Nem has just witnessed her mother’s brutal murder and her life appears destined for tragedy. Until, that is, she finds her mother‘s old green journal which holds an incredible secret.
This innocent looking book seems to contain the power over luck. As she uses it, Nem discovers the diary keeps a strange kind of karmic balance, that in gifting someone good fortune she must steal another’s first. All it takes is a simple entry. There’s dangers though, and not just for others but also for Nem.
Decades later, the literary world hails William Barnes’ debut novel as a masterpiece. For some inexplicable reason though, his best seller success doesn’t survive his next two books. What frustrates and infuriates William even more, is that while he loses everything his undeserving protégé Orelia Mason is enjoying a meteoric rise up the charts. And this triumph of hers coincides suspiciously with his fall from grace.
Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.
But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…
As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.
… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2