[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Canadian expat UK-resident author Barbara Taylor, an historian and professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London, is a retrospective memoir cum history of mental health asylum treatment, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for April, and was a finalist for the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for best Canadian work of literary non-fiction.

The memoir recounts the author’s decades-long struggle with anxiety, which eventually became severe enough to lead to a stay at the historic Friern Mental Hospital in North London in the 1980s, and the perception and treatment of mental illness in England during a turning point era which led to the closing of many asylums and the changes as their former patients were funneled into underfunded community care to mostly fend for themselves, with limited support available from knowledgeable professionals and loyal friends coping with their own mental health issues.

Offered worldwide through April, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free Audiobooks] Swing by Kwame Alexander & Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones [Young Adult, Coming of Age Poetry, Crime Thriller]

AudioFile’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening promotion for young adults has returned for 2019, and offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of close friendships surviving stressful circumstances, available until 7am Eastern Time on May 2nd, are as follows:

  • Swing by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess, a jazz-inspired standalone poetic literary fiction novel-in-verse about the friendship between two boys with different personalities and interests as they come of age together through difficult high school experiences; read by the author himself, from Blink, available worldwide
  • Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones, YA contemporary crime thriller novel starring two street kids on the run, who separately ran afoul of the wrong ruthless people, teaming up into an uneasy partnership which might hold a chance of redemption for both; read by MacLeod Andrews, from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on May 2nd, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free eBook] Night of the Twisters by James Michael Ullman [Vintage 1970s Mystery/Crime Short]

Night of the Twisters by the late James Michael Ullman, a Chicago newspaper journalist and award-winning novelist, is a standalone mystery/crime thriller short story, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Wildside Press. as one of their sporadic weekly giveaways to help promote their Black Cat Mystery Community for vintage pulp mystery/crime thriller reprints.

This was originally published in 1972 in the April issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine magazine.

The story takes place at a remote farmhouse during tornado season, where a lone woman finds herself armed with nothing but her wits against ill-intentioned intruders who have broken into her home for shelter.

Offered worldwide through April 29th (probably), available DRM-free directly from the publisher.

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[Free Audiobooks] 5 titles via Libro.fm [Award-Winning Mystery, Self Help, Literary, Video Game Tie-In]

As a special treat for Independent Bookstore Day on April 27th, audiobook distributor Libro.fm is offering 5 free audiobook titles from major publishers.

The titles are a mix of self-help non-fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction, and horror video game tie-ins, plus a sampler, and can also be gifted to your friends. Here’s the promo featured on their front page, and links to the individual titles below:

  1. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven, read by the author himself, a motivational self-help book of tips and life lessons, based on a popular commencement speech to a university’s graduating class.
  2. The Blackhouse by Peter May, read by Peter Forbes, the Barry award-winning 1st novel in the Lewis Trilogy of police procedural mystery/thrillers set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands, starring a native islander detective returning home from Edinburgh to investigate a suspiciously similar killing while delving into the depths of his own past.
  3. Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces by Carly Anne West, a prequel novel setting up the premise for the hit horror video game where you play an aggrieved homeowner determined to rid yourself of the annoying people around you.
  4. Mother’s Group by bestselling author Liane Moriarty, read by Caroline Lee, a contemporary literary short story with a twist, centred around a group for new moms, one of whose members seems to be hiding a secret.
  5. Penguin Random House Audio Story Sampler 2019, a collection of extended excerpts from some of their popular bestsellers across many categories.

Offered through midnight Pacific Time on April 27th, available DRM-free worldwide from Libro.fm (requires account signup with billing address but no payment info).

[Free eBooks] 9 books from AmazonCrossing for World Book Day [International Mystery, Biography, True Crime, Historical, Literary, LGBT]

As a special treat to celebrate World Book Day on April 23rd, Amazon is once again making free 9 Kindle ebooks in selected countries from its exclusive Amazon Crossing imprint for world literature in translation, which includes many notable and award-winning international authors.

The giveaway lasts for another day through April 24th-25th depending on your timezone, and you can see the special Read the World promo pages for it with more info on the works, authors, and translators, here at the Amazon US main, Amazon Canada, and Amazon UK stores.

Here are some auto-search links to pull up what’s free in the participating local stores for US, Canada, UK, Australia, India, and I’ve direct-linked the free titles to the main US or UK store as applicable (change the country code in the URL to get your local store).

Available in all participating countries:

  1. An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew, a biography about a young New Yorker who rose to great social heights during the Gilded Age, by Dutch author Annejet Van Der Zijl

  2. The Hangman’s Daughter, 1st in the eponymous 16th century Germany historical mystery series, by German author Oliver Pötzsch (illustrated “Kindle in Motion” version for Canada & US only; regular version for UK, Australia, and India)

  3. The Murmur of Bees, literary fiction by Mexican author Sofia Segovia

  4. All This I Will Give To You, award-winning crime thriller set in Spain and starring an LGBT man who has discovered a trail of secrets behind his late husband’s death, by Spanish autho Dolores Redondo

  5. About the Night, historical fiction set in 1940s Jerusalem by Israeli author Anat Talshir

Only free in North America (2 expections for India):

  1. The Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder and an Unlikely Investigator, true crime about the 2012 Swedish case of a missing and presumably murdered millionaire landowner whose body could not be found, by Swedish author Joakim Palmqvist (also free for India)

  2. Go: A Coming of Age Novel, literary fiction dealing with social and cultural issues surrounding a Korean student in a Japanese high school, by Japanese author Kazuki Kaneshiro (also free for India)

  3. The Passion According to Carmela, historical fiction set durnig the Cuban Revolution by Argentinian author Marcos Aguinis

  4. This Next Life or the Other, contemporary literary fiction about a radicalized and disillusioned youth fighting in Syria, by Norwegian author Demian Vitanza

Only free in other countries including UK, Australia/New Zealand, and India.

  1. Winter Men, historical fiction set in mid-century Germany dealing with the conflicts between two opposing brothers during the rise and defeat of Nazism, by Danish author Jesper Bugge Kold (not free in India)

  2. Still Waters, 1st in Sandhamn Murders mystery series by Swedish author Viveca Sten (not free in India; I’ve read this, and it’s the start of an enjoyable series which is on sale for just $0.99-$1.99 in Canada & US this month)

  3. The House by the River, a family saga following five sisters in Greece, by Greek author Lena Manta

  4. The Great Passage, award-winning literary fiction about an unexpected friendship that springs up between a retiring Japanese dictionary compiler and his eccentric co-worker, by Japanese author Shion Miura

Additionally still free in Canada & Australia (leftovers from a previous world literature promotion):

  1. Pathological, a biomedical science fiction thriller by Chinese author Wang Jinkiang

  2. Valley of Terror, a biomedical horror thriller by Chinese author Zhou Haohui

Offered through midnight Pacific Time on April 24th, available at Amazon.

[Free eBook] Cop Killer by James Holding [Vintage 1960s Mystery/Crime Short]

Cop Killer by the late James Holding, one of the authors behind the “Ellery Queen” shared pseudonym, is vintage standalone mystery/crime thriller short story, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Wildside Press. as one of their sporadic weekly giveaways to help promote their Black Cat Mystery Community for vintage pulp mystery/crime thriller reprints.

This was originally published in 1962 in the November issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine magazine.

The story stars a beat cop assigned to a bad neighbourhood working to thwart an old high school rival who has become a deadly dangerous petty criminal.

Offered worldwide through April 22nd (probably; sometimes they stay for a few extra days or until the next week), available DRM-free directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] What Happens in Vegas by Shana Gray [Chick Lit Travel Romantic Comedy]

What Happens in Vegas by Shana Gray is the 1st novel in the Girls Weekend Away quartet of chick lit travel comedy with strong f/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Entangled: Amara imprint.

This is being made free to help promote the new release of the 4th book, A Match Made in Monaco, out this month. The series stars a group of four friends taking vacation getaway trips to various world destinations together for fun and games and a touch of romance along the way, as each must in turn decide whether they’ve discovered something that could last beyond just a weekend fling.

This installment takes place amidst the casinos of Las Vegas, starring a detective taking the time to treat her friends with a luxury booth in an exclusive club, where she encounters a professional poker player in town for a tournament.

Offered in Canada & US only, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle [Fairy Tale Retelling Historical Romance]

Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle is the 1st novel in the Midnight Meetings series of fairy tale-inspired f/m historical romance, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Sourcebooks’ Casablanca imprint.

The series takes place in Regency England, starring strangers who initially meet under circumstances loosely inspired by assorted fairy tales, who must uncover the heart of the real person behind the mysterious encounter.

This one is a “Beauty and the Beast” riff, with a young woman packed off to live with a reclusive nobleman whose reputation in society seems to consist only of rumour and gossip, to pay off her family’s debts.

Offered worldwide, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] Where There’s Smoke by Karen Kelley [Paranormal Western Erotic Romance]

Where There’s Smoke by Karen Kelley is the 1st novel in a quartet of f/m contemporary paranormal cowboy western erotic romance, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Sourcebooks’ Casablanca imprint.

The quartet centres around four half-angels known as nephilim who cross over into the human world, each fulfilling the fantasies of the (mostly) mortal women who encounter them in a series of self-contained novels.

This story stars an aspiring demon-in-training cast out of hell and given the assignment to steal a soul, picking up a seemingly corruptible cowboy in a Texas bar who turns out to have a darkly angelic secret of his own and a desire to seduce her away to the bright side.

Offered worldwide, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack [Science Fiction TV Tie-In]

Desperate Hours by David Mack is the 1st novel in the Star Trek: Discovery series of official TV tie-ins, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint.

This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series takes a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series begins, and involves the crew of the USS Discovery in a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

This novel has a spotlight focus on the Discovery’s Captain Michael Burnham, a human woman raised among Vulcans, in a prequel story telling the tale of her promotion to First Officer on her old ship the USS Shenzhou, when she must infiltrate a mysterious alien vessel to protect a Federation colony under attack.

Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.

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