[Free eBook] The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by Ella K. Maillart [Vintage Travelogue]

The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by the late Swiss author Ella K. Maillart, an adventurer, travel writer, and photographer, is a vintage 1930s cross-continental travelogue and memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for June, and was originally published in 1947 by Heinemann and was eventually the basis for the 2001 film The Journey to Kafiristan. The reprint edition contains a new foreword by magazine editor and columnist Jessa Crispin, as well as the author’s own original photographs from the journey.

The travelogue is an account of Maillart’s groundbreaking journey and troubled friendship with fellow Swiss and openly LGBT writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, as they traveled by car from Switzerland through to Afghanistan at a time when European visitors were rare, and the two of them interacted with the locals dealing with various oppressive political and socioeconomic conditions while also struggling with their own personal issues.

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

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[Free eBook] The Absolutist by John Boyne [Award-Nominated LGBT WWI Historical Literary Novel]

The Absolutist by Irish author John Boyne, a recipient of multiple literary awards, including the Irish Book Award and the Carnegie Medal, is a historical literary drama novel with m/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Penguin Random House’s Other Press imprint.

This is Barnes & Noble’s featured Free Fridays selection for the weekend, and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The story is set in the aftermath of World War I, as a returning soldier delivers letters from a deceased trenchmate to a surviving sister, and unburdens himself of the secrets he carries from his harsh experiences during the war and their complicated relationship.

Offered in the US only, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] The Dark Beneath by J. S. Law [Naval Investigative Crime Thriller]

The Dark Beneath by British author J. S. Law, a former Royal Navy engineer, is the 1st novel in the Lieutenant Dani Lewis series of military police procedural crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Headline.

This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series stars a naval investigator investigating crimes that involve members of the British Royal Navy or take place upon its vessels.

This case sees her investigating a suspicious suicide on board a submarine, questioning the crew while deployed deep underwater with a potential killer on board.

Offered in UK & Europe, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston [Victorian Historical Romantic Suspense]

When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston is the 1st novel in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Servie series of f/m Victorian historical romance with romantic suspense elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Entangled: Select Historical imprint.

The series is set in the late Victorian era, starring young ladies with an inquisitive bent going on missions and solving cases.

This installment features a reporter gone undercover in the London criminal underworld to seek justice, who meets a disgraced Scotland Yard detective also gone undercover to destroy said underworld, as they both struggle with the desire to trust someone they perceive as untrustworthy.

Offered worldwide, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] Spy Games by Sidney Bristol [Romantic Suspense]

Spy Games by Sidney Bristol is the 1st novel in the Tarnished Heroes series of f/m contemporary romantic suspense, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Entangled: Amara imprint.

The series stars CIA agents experiencing regrets from having previously taken shady assignments, trying to make amends for their dubious pasts.

This installment stars an agent whose past comes back to haunt him in a different way, as he teams up with his former best friend’s sister on the trail of another undercover informant who has been captured by a hostile government with sensitive information which must be retrieved before other operatives are compromised.

Offered worldwide, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson [Award-Winning Horror Fantasy]

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by British author Tade Thompson is the 1st novella in the Molly Southbourne series of horror with science fiction & fantasy elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their secondary featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June (previously a bonus collection was given out to celebrate Pride Month). This won the 2018 NOMMO Award for African Speculative Fiction in the Best Novella category, and was also a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for Horror and the British Fantasy Society Award, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novella, The Survival of Molly Southbourne, expected in July.

The story stars a teenaged girl who all her life has been struggling to survive every day against murderous identical clones that are automatically created whenever she bleeds, who are intent on destroying her in turn forcing her to try to destroy them, as she begins to question her very existence and whether or not she is actually the original, or yet another clone pitted against her many duplicate selves.

Offered through June 28th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free Audiobooks] Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon & Astray by Emma Donoghue [Young Adult Genderbent Classic Novel Remix & Historical Literary Fiction]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults 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 making new stories out of old ones, whether retelling fictional classics or basing new works on real life tales, available until 7am Eastern Time on June 27th, are as follows:

  • Astray by Emma Donoghue, is a themed historical literary fiction collection featuring tales about emigrants and immigrants between Canada and the US, based on various true stories, and includes an afterword read by the author herself; read by Khristine Hvam, James Langton, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren, & Dion Graham, from Hachette Audio, available worldwide
  • Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon, a YA literary fiction remix of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist, starring the genderbent Olivia as young Victorian debutante with an unexpectedly shady past, who keeps having encounters with another former street orphan in disguise posing as a respectable society matron’s nephew while secretly fleecing them on her behalf; read by Pearl Hewitt, from Black Hills Audiobooks, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on June 27th, 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 Audiobooks] Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach & The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky [Science Travelogue & Young Adult Historical Suspense]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults 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 uncovering secret stories behind processes and events, available until 7am Eastern Time on June 20th, are as follows:

  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, a science travelogue and history, taking a tour of the alimentary canal, going worldwide and back over the ages to explore both beliefs and modern researchers uncovering how each part of it works; read by Emily Woo Zeller, from Tantor Audio, available worldwide
  • The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky, a YA historical coming of age suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War era, centred around a group of schoolchildren on a secret field trip, whose teacher suddenly disappears, who try to figure out wat actually happened that day and to whom they can talk about it; read by Kate Rudd, from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on June 20th, 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] The Green Mandarin Mystery by Denis Hughes [Vintage 1950s Science Fiction Mystery/Technothriller]

The Green Mandarin Mystery by the late British author Denis Hughes is a vintage standalone science fiction mystery/technothriller novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 1950 by Curtis Warren using the pseudonym Grant Malcolm.

The story is set in contemporary London (circa the 1950s), centred around the investigation of ongoing mysterious disappearances of expert scientists valued by the British government, all leaving behind a card referencing the “Green Mandarin”, an enigmatic entity or organization which may be using them to fulfill nefarious plans for humanity.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Blood in the Dust by Lewis Brant [Western]

Blood in the Dust by Lewis Brant, a pseudonym for British author Donald S. Rowland, a prolific multi-genre pulp fiction author, is a vintage standalone western historical action adventure novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Frontier imprint.

This was originally published in 1964 by Robert Hale.

The story stars a former lawman sickened by death, giving up his badge and gun and trying to make amends to the family of a rancher he accidentally killed during a rustling raid, who finds himself sucked back into an inescapable cycle of violence.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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