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In the early 1990s, Rebecca Forster was well into a career as an advertising executive. On a “crazy dare,” she wrote her first book, and fiction writing became her life’s passion. Now the Missouri native has 25 books to her name, including the USA Today bestseller Keeping Counsel.
She’s been married for 34 years to the man she met in high school. He’s now a superior court judge near Los Angeles, and he helps Rebecca research scenes for her legal thrillers, although sometimes she must prepare him a special dinner in exchange for the help.
At the top of today’s Buffet is Hostile Witness, a story inspired by a real-life case in which her husband had to sentence a teenage girl to life in prison. “It made me wonder how I felt about minors arrested for violent crimes,” Rebecca says. “Are the most vulnerable among us — capable of horrible violence — perceived as adults, and yet emotionally still children?”
In her spare time, Rebecca speaks to philanthropic and writers’ groups about the new world of electronic publishing. She also teaches courses for the UCLA Writers Program and The Young Writers Conference. Her literary influences include Scott Turow, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King.
As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours (except for the “Kindle Daily Deals” on page 3). 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.)
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Rebecca Forster
When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California.
But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships create a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth is uncovered it can save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.
Author: H.P. Mallory
Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world.
When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.
Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full.
Action & Adventure
Author: Marsha Canham
A rip-roaring high-seas adventure set in Elizabethan England, when dashing privateers known as sea hawks banded together to guard their country and their queen against the Invincible Armada being amassed by Spain.
Simon Dante, the Pirate Wolf, meets his match in battle and in love when he crosses swords with Isabeau Spence. Together they join forces with Sir Francis Drake on a daring attack on Cadiz.
Author: Caitlyn Duffy
At the age of 15, Taylor Beauforte has only met her father twice in person. After all, he is the lead singer of a world-famous rock band, constantly on the cover of music magazines and giving interviews on MTV. He pays for Taylor to attend the Treadwell Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts, and provides her mother with monthly checks to cover her basic needs, but has never made much of an effort to play an active part in Taylor’s life.
Taylor’s mom Dawn is the only family she has ever really known, and because of Dawn’s hard-partying Hollywood lifestyle, studious Taylor is happiest on the other side of the country in Massachusetts with her nose buried in a book.
When Taylor ‘s mom unexpectedly dies the summer before Taylor starts her junior year, she receives a crash course in fame. She has no choice but to join her father and his new family on their summer concert tour before she has even had a chance to mourn the loss of her mother.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Gary Hansen
Grant Stevens, a mid-level manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, only wanted to build dams. He never imagined he would be swept into a desperate race against an environmental terrorist bent on restoring the Colorado River by blowing up the dams.
Left temporarily in charge of the Bureau, Grant must react when the first dam is attacked. He faces the unthinkable task of mitigating the massive flood roaring down the Colorado. The flood will eventually threaten the mighty Hoover Dam, and if Hoover fails, the other dams downstream will fall like dominos. Working with the FBI, Grant uses his engineering skills, river knowledge, and plenty of gut instinct in an attempt to outmaneuver the terrorist. The chase will lead all the way downstream to the Gulf of California in a cat and mouse game where the stakes are high and the potential for destruction is enormous.
Author: Bonnie Bartel Latino, Bob Vale
Emotionally scarred years after her husband died in a fiery Special Operations helicopter crash, Air Force widow Emily Ann Meade clings to her vow never to get involved with another man committed to a dangerous profession … until she meets F-16 pilot, Colonel Ted Foley in Hawaii. Although they are mutually attracted, the charismatic widower’s fighter wing in Japan recently lost two pilots in unexplained air crashes.
Allowing her mind to wander through fields of dreams on which she can’t afford the emotional mortgage, Emily lowers her barriers. She discovers Ted’s greatest virtue: he makes the ordinary feel sublime. Healing in shared confidences solidifies their bond. When another crash reignites her fears, the relationship shatters.
Biographies & Memoirs
Author: Julie Flygare
Julie Flygare was on an ambitious path to success, entering law school at age 22, when narcolepsy destroyed the neurological boundaries between dreaming and reality in her brain. She faced terrifying hallucinations, paralysis and excruciating sleepiness, aspects of dream sleep taking place while wide awake.
Yet, narcolepsy was a wakeup call for Julie. Her illness propelled her onto a journey she never imagined, from lying paralyzed on her apartment floor to dancing euphorically at a nightclub; from the classrooms of Harvard Medical School to the start line of the Boston Marathon.
Author: Lexi Maxxwell
Fifty of Lexi’s hottest and wettest stories in 2012. Includes the previously published Lexi titles including Swallowing Secrets 1-4, Sex & Money Series 1-4, Talking Dirty Series 1-4, Random Encounters Series 1-4, Lexi Maxxwell’s Holiday Series.
Author: S. Jane Scheyder
Leaving her broken heart behind in Seattle, Maddy Jacobs starts a new life on the coast of Maine. Although running a Bed and Breakfast has always been her dream, restoring the sprawling Victorian inn is a massive undertaking. Her contractor, competent, handsome, and built like a Greek god, could be the answer to her prayers. If she can keep her wits about her, she might just survive the summer.
John Fordham has his plate full, raising two young sons and running his renovation business. Restoring the waterfront property for its intriguing new owner will take all of his energy, and, if he’s not careful, it might just take his heart.
Author: M.J. Pullen
At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all. A successful party-planning business with an elite client list. A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?
Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules.
Author: Cat Miller
Betrayal, passion, family secrets, murder, and vampires… What else would one expect during their freshman year of college?
After her birth, Danielle Vaughn, and her mother were ushered out of town in a surreptitious attempt to save her life; vampire prejudice can be deadly.
Like any normal nineteen year old, her biggest worry in life was blending in and working hard to keep her grades up. Her departure from a small town in search of a higher education causes a domino effect; she quickly finds herself maneuvering through a maze of enemies and lovers who are all hell bent on capturing her at any cost.
Author: Kym Grosso
After a series of girls are ritualistically murdered on the cold streets of Philadelphia, seasoned detective Sydney Willows is forced to work with sexy, alpha vampire Kade Issacson. While working the case, Sydney finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kade, fighting the passion she feels towards him. Kade, determined to solve the case and mete out justice, is captivated by the independent, fiery detective.
The investigation leads them into a dark and dangerous world, deep in the heart of New Orleans, where together, they search for the perpetrators of the Voodoo killings. Sydney soon becomes the target of the killer and ends up fighting for her life and love in the Big Easy.
Author: Laurie Van Dermark
Surviving a brutal assault in a small and desolate Peruvian town, Julia wakes to find that her unborn child has perished in a desperate, violent attack. Returning to the safety of her family’s Savannah estate, she prepares to bury her tragically murdered son. Forced to confront the choices that led to her son’s death, she is bombarded with resolving the details of her poorly conceived marriage, estrangement from a powerful and disapproving patriarch, and navigating the sudden renewal of a long forgotten flame, Henry Walker.
Author: Lizzie Lamb
Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico, where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill, she loses her job and with it her dream of becoming her own boss. When she’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, she grabs it with both hands. But there’s a catch — the centre lies five hundred miles away – in Wester Ross, Scotland.
Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by hunky Men in Kilts is shattered when she has an upclose and very personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate — starting with Fliss.
Author: K.B. Lever, Susan Lever, Pegi Swearingen
Since the tender age of six, Katherine has always loved to hear Jonathan’s nightly stories about tracking, stalking, and collecting his victims. She’s even had the privilege of watching souls transition into the afterlife, led by the hand of the Collector to their paths where angels or demons escort them home. It has been an unwavering friendship that has flourished for sixteen years. That is, until an unexplainable twist in circumstances causes Katherine’s name to appear on the Collector’s List.
Katherine refuses to hand over her soul quietly and Jonathan upholds the decision of his only friend, feeling the bitter sting of helplessness as he realizes the possibility of being the cause for her demise. So now a new relationship unfolds between them, one of checks and balances, hints, clues, and mysteries, where the two must work together to manipulate the list despite a forbidden friendship.
Author: S. E. Lund
A paranormally-gifted female vampire hunter is seduced by beautiful 800-year-old twin vampire brothers.
When pre-med student Eve Hayden searches for a translator for an ancient French illuminated manuscript she found in her dead mother’s research files, she gets more than she bargained for: Michel de Cernay, an eight hundred year old vampire and his identical twin brother Julien. The manuscript details their death and rebirth as vampires in 1224 during the Cathar Crusade at the hands of an ancient vampire.
Author: Amber Argyle
Brusenna thought it was finished. She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong. She was wrong.
Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands. Some things can’t be saved.
A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.
Author: Christine Fonseca
It’s been three thousand years since the fall of Azzaziel and the rebirth of evil; three thousand years since the Sentinal Order, an elite group of warrior angels, returned to Celestium. Their job—rid Earth of the dark creatures, the UnHoly. And with luck, end Azza’s rule.
As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate.
Author: Cindy Blackburn
Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn’t sure what will happen next. Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.
Author: Karen E. Black
Liza’s bad-boy cousin, the handsome, magnetic D’Arcy “Dace” Devereux is nothing but trouble. Falling in love with him can only make things worse. Especially for a girl who knows more about books and monarch butterflies than she does men. Dace’s and Liza’s infatuation flares into an obsession long before she’s even out of her teens. The cousins become two against the world. Even when Dace is arrested for manslaughter and sent to a penitentiary, their feelings don’t change. The cousins spend one wonderful summer together when he’s briefly paroled, but Dace is still drawn to trouble like the monarchs down to Mexico.
Author: Livia Ellis
Oliver Adair enjoys a life of women (sometimes men), travel, and sex. Unfortunately these things cost money, something he doesn’t have a lot of. When he’s offered an opportunity to get paid for doing what he loves, he happily signs on to become a male escort. But first, he has to pass the interview process. The madam of the agency has one of her girls put him to the test. Oliver quickly discovers that in this world, not only is being a man’s man still desirable, but expected. By embracing his masculine sexuality, he makes a name for himself in the world of escorts.
Author: Vickie McKeehan
Stuck in backwater Pelican Pointe, California, Jordan Phillips is still trying to recover from the loss of her husband, Scott, who died in Iraq. She’s left with a baby daughter to support and Scott’s dream of turning the old Victorian family home into The Cove Bed and Breakfast, something he’d wanted to do before leaving for Iraq. But Jordan faces formidable odds at every turn. Facing foreclosure is the least of her problems. Pelican Pointe, Scott’s hometown, has never really accepted her.
Nick Harris is battling survivor’s guilt, leftover from the war. Haunted by an unwitting promise he made during the heat of battle, Nick has come to Pelican Pointe in hopes of simply unburdening his guilt to Scott’s widow and moving on. But that all changes when he realizes Jordan is in way over her head.
Author: Ripley Patton
Olivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world.
Olivia can pickpocket the soul. But she can’t control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn’t trust.
Author: Rosa Lee Jude, Mary Lin Brewer
When the breakup of her family forces Grae White’s mother to move her two children from their privileged city life to her hometown in the mountains of Virginia, all Grae wants is to be invisible in her new life. But that’s rather hard when everyone knows that her father is the latest headline-grabbing white collar criminal, the most popular boy in school wants to take Grae to the prom, and then there’s that she lives in a haunted mansion. Something more than curiosity spirals Grae back in time to seek the truth in the tragedy of a 200 -year-old murder. Along the way, she learns about history, happiness, and heartache in the lives of those who have lived on the property, including her own family.
Coming of Age
Author: Anna Brentwood
In 1918, Kansas City is Sin City. Forced to leave home at age 14, beautiful Hannah Glidden struggles to survive but with help from her childhood friend, Meg, mistress to a wealthy man and the irrepressible, flapper extraordinaire, Rosie, she thrives as a cabaret singer.
Handsome rum runner, Johnny Gallo is part of New York’s large growing criminal empire where the sky is the limit. The ruthless Gallo has a knack for knowing the right people, and a single-minded devotion to getting what he wants. And, he wants Hannah.
Hannah goes with Johnny to Al Capone’s Chicago and eventually to Brooklyn, New York where she basks in the glamourous shadow world of gangsters and their gals. She faces the dark side of her dreams but dares to defy Johnny despite the dangers and unwittingly discovers that for her, dying might be the only true path to freedom after all.
Author: Lori Brighton
Grayson Bellamont has spent years on the Continent, fighting a war he cares nothing for. It is only while in the chaos of battle that he can hide what he truly is. Returning to England, he finds his sister murdered and his seven-year-old niece missing. All over the country his friends are mysteriously dying. Grayson sets out to uncover the truth and locate his niece before it’s too late. All leads point to Meg James, a vicar’s daughter. Instinct tells him Meg is innocent, but the clues he uncovers warn she’s guilty. One thing is clear, Meg awakens a warmth inside of him he thought long dead and Grayson is torn between a sense of duty and his desires.
Author: J.M. Madden, Viola Estrella
When the rescue helicopter crashes into his convoy in Iraq, Marine First Sergeant Duncan Wilde struggles with the loss of men, his career and the use of his body. Things can’t get much worse. Until his fiancée decides she has to move on with her life, and that of her unborn child by another man.
Sergeant Chad Lowell knew when he went to war that it would come with a price. And it did. A young Marine under his command is killed by a landmine. Chad’s left with one less leg and a mountain of recriminations. That doesn’t mean he wants to be a pitied by every female he comes in contact with.
Author: Ruth Cardello
Dominic Corisi knew instantly that Abigail Dartley was just the distraction he was looking for, especially since having her took a bit more persuading than he was used to. So when business forces him to fly to China, he decides to take her with him, but on his terms. No promises. No complications. Just sex.
Abby has always been the responsible one. She doesn’t believe in taking risks; especially when it comes to men – until she meets Dominic. He’s both infuriating and intoxicating, a heady combination. Their trip to China revives a long forgotten side of Abby, but also reveals a threat to bring down Dominic’s company. With no time to explain her actions, Abby must either influence the outcome of his latest venture and save his company or accept her role as his mistress and leave his fate to chance. Does she love him enough to risk losing him for good?
Author: S.A. Hunter
Mary has always been different. She’d like to be normal, but being able to hear ghosts means she’ll never be like everyone else. She starts her junior year of high school hoping to be left alone, but Cyrus Asher is new and doesn’t know or seem to care that she’s an outcast. They start hanging out and all is well until she goes over to his house. Cy’s house is haunted, and not by Caspar, the friendly ghost.
But it’s not the ghost that ruins the evening. That honor belongs to Vicky “The Hickey” Nelson with her borrowed Ouija board and stuck-up friends. They make Mary so angry that she uses the ghost to freak out everybody, Cy included. He orders her out, and Mary thinks she’s lost whatever chance she had with him.
Author: Bryan James
In the infection-ravaged world of Bryan James’ frightening and sobering universe of zombie mayhem, a normal night shift becomes a surreal test of courage, strength, and selflessness as an unknown illness takes hold of the country. Inside a reinforced bank office building, insulated from outside news for hours, the men and women inside work obliviously, unaware of the rising tide of horror. As society outside crumbles, the power fails. Phone lines are down. Communication is impossible, and those trapped within know nothing of the world without.Outside the single locked door, an incessant pounding punctuates the oppressive darkness of this modern catacomb, as the employees trapped inside struggle to understand what is happening. But soon, they will be fighting to merely survive as they come face to face with the threat that appears from where they least expect it: within.
Author: Steve Umstead
Evan Gabriel wasn’t always a feared and respected North American Federation Navy Commander. Before dangerous missions to the ice-bound planet of Poliahu, the deadly jungle world of Eden, and politically corrupt Mars, he was a simple recruit, fighting to make his mark in the elite Naval Special Forces…and was part of a top-secret military experiment that would change his life forever.
Author: Rachel Morgan
Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone–she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments–a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her–follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.
The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm.
Mysteries & Suspence
Author: Thomas Hoover
In her mid-thirties, Alexa Hampton runs her own interior design firm in New York’s Soho and has a daily run to keep fit. But now her world is narrowing as a childhood heart mishap increasingly threatens to lethally impact her life. Then out of nowhere her black-sheep younger brother appears and insists she go to a clinic in New Jersey to enter stem-cell clinical trials that are working wonders. The clinic is owned by her brother’s boss, the eccentric millionaire Winston Bartlett.
Also interested in the clinic is the medical reporter Stone Aimes, who’s hoping to penetrate Bartlett’s veil of secrecy and find out what’s going on there. He has personal as well as professional reasons for wanting to get closer to Winston Bartlett. He is also a long-ago lover of Alexa’s and still carrying something of a torch for her though they have long been out of touch.
As Alexa investigates the clinic, their paths cross and together they slowly uncover the horrifying truth about what can happen when stem-cell technology is taken to its ultimate limit. A bizarre secret experiment to reverse the aging process has gone out of control.
Author: W. D. Newman
While spending the summer with their grandparents on a remote farm in South Carolina, Ben Alderman and his sister Casey uncover a hidden world of magic; a world their grandmother is secretly visiting. It is a world where elves and dwarves are locked in mortal combat against a witch who is trying to free the last surviving wizard from exile. The witch has been defeated once before but with the combined power of the wizard, no one will be able to stand against them. Much to Ben’s dismay, he learns that he is the one foretold in the ancient elfin prophecies to bring about the downfall of the witch and save this exciting new world from destruction.
Author: Jessica Sorensen
When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across.
Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow:
Rule #1—Never go out after dark.
Rule #2—Always carry a weapon.
Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bit.
But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply?
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks and the Kindle Daily Deal here on page 2