[Free eBook] A Year at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn [Cozy Contemporary Fiction]

A Year at the Star and Sixpence by London-adjacent British author Holly Hepburn is a collected edition of her Star and Sixpence series of cozy contemporary/literary fiction novellas, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster UK.

The series is set in the English countryside, where two sisters have just inherited the local pub, and set about restoring it to its former glory as a village social centre. These stories follow the sisters through seasonal changes and holiday celebrations as they adjust to village life and make friends and influence people while facing challenges renovating the once-derelict pub.

Offered in the UK only, available at Amazon.

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[Free Audiobooks] 2 free titles from AudioSYNC Summer of Reading [Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Classic Literature]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2017 promotion for young adults continues, which 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 fantastic discovery, available until 7am Eastern Time on August 17th, are as follows:

  • Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older, is his debut young adult urban fantasy novel set in modern Brooklyn, starring an artistically talented girl who discovers that she can wield a special hidden magic that infuses spirits into artworks, but also killers targeting these shadowshapers, who believe her to be hiding a family secret they want; Scholastic Audiobooks, read by Annika Noni
  • Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, is his vintage classic literary fiction story about a man who one day wakes up as a giant cockroach, and how his day goes from there; from Naxos Audiobooks, read by Martin Jarvis

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on August 17th, 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).

This is the final week of the promotion, and I hope you’ve enjoyed whichever selections you might have been interested in.

[Free eBook] Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch [Young Adult Italy Travel Self-Discovery Novel]

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is the 1st novel in her Love & Gelato series of young adult contemporary fiction journeys of self-discovery, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Walker Books.

The series explores teenaged journeys of self-discovery in both the literal and figurative senses, each spotlighting a new girl and country as she learns more about herself in the course of traveling and living in a new place.

This story is set in Tuscany, Italy, starring a girl from Seattle who goes to meet her estranged father after her mother’s untimely death, and is given an old diary once kept by her mother when she was a student in Florence, discovering things about her family and herself as she retraces her parents’ footsteps and finds her own path in the process.

Offered in the UK and Europe and several other regions worldwide (excluding North America), available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] The Reluctant Madonna by Marguerite Steen [Vintage 1920s Literary Novel]

The Reluctant Madonna by the late English author Marguerite Steen, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature whose works enjoyed a period of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, is her vintage standalone literary personal drama novel with f/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1929 by Cassell & Co.

The story takes place in London during the 1920s and explores tensions and expectations in an aristocratic woman’s personal and family life, as an isolated “perfect” wife estranged from her husband finds herself being targeted by her son’s ambitious love interest, a sometime artist’s model who sees an opportunity to secure her future when the mother becomes attached to painter commissioned to produce her portrait.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Fenny by Lettice Cooper [1930s Italy Historical Literary Novel]

Fenny by the late English author Lettice Cooper, who was honoured with an OBE and other recognitions for her contributions to authors’ rights and literature, is her vintage historical literary drama novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Odyssey imprint.

This was originally published in 1953 by Victor Gollancz and was later reprinted by Virago Press, a specialty press which reprints works by notable but relatively obscure historical women authors.

The story is set in Italy during the 1930s and the rising fascist lead-up to WWII, starring a bereaved single woman who becomes a governess to successive British expat families in Italy and finds contentment watching the children grow up, though the spectre of increasingly disturbing political developments begins to threaten her nearly-idyllic retreat.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A Candle in the Sun by Marguerite Steen [Vintage 1960s Spain Literary Novel]

A Candle in the Sun by the late British author Marguerite Steen, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature whose works enjoyed a period of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, is her vintage literary fiction drama novel with f/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Odyssey imprint.

This was originally published in 1964 by Longmans, Green & Co Ltd.

This coming-of-age story is set in Granada, Spain, where the teenaged daughter of eccentric parents, both engaged in affairs with colourful characters, strives to find happiness and balance in an unsteady world, even as her turbulent experiences within her own friendship circle seem to parallel those of her elders.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz [Alternate History Spy Thriller Satire]

Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz, a political historian who formerly taught at Harvard University and also writes mysteries as Sophie Belfort, is her standalone alternate history drama novel with satirical espionage thriller elements, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for August.

The story is set during the 1930s and written in the form of a comedic faux-memoir by Wallis Warfield Simpson, the American divorcée who eventually married the abdicated British King Edward VIII and posits an alternative secret history in which she was an undercover agent tasked with removing the pro-German future monarch from the throne.

Offered worldwide through August, available directly from the University Press’ website.

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[Free eBook] E. M. Forster: A Biography by Harry T. Moore [Vintage 20th Century Literature Study]

E. M. Forster: A Biography by the late Harry T. Moore, a university professor and literary critic who was twice the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, is his vintage early 20th century author biography cum literature study, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Odyssey imprint.

This was originally published in 1965 by Columbia University Press as #10 in their Columbia Essays On Modern Writers series.

This literary biography examines the life and outlook of early 20th century English author E. M. Forster—who wrote such classic novels as A Passage to India, A Room With A View, and Maurice—using selected works including his novels and more, to flesh out a portrait of his writing and personality as seen via his creations.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Bell Timson by Marguerite Steen [Vintage 1940s Literary Novel]

Bell Timson by the late British author Marguerite Steen, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature whose works enjoyed a period of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, is her vintage standalone literary fiction novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Odyssey imprint.

This was originally published in 1946 by Doubleday.

The story is set in London during the 1940s and explores family and personal drama themes, starring a divorced woman trying to provide for her children by entering employment as a masseuse for wealthy fashionable ladies, which in turn puts her in touch with someone who tempts her with a dangerous opportunity to achieve the financial security and better future prospects for her daughters she desires, by not entirely aboveboard means.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] Taxi Rojo by Erik Orrantia [Latino & LGBT Literary Fiction]

Taxi Rojo by Erik Orrantia, a Lambda Literary Award winner, is his contemporary literary fiction novel, free again for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher publisher Lethe Press.

This is a literary fiction novel with themes of Latino and LGBT identity exploration, centred around the aftermath of a local disaster in Tijuana, Mexico. The story tells how an unlikely group of individuals who are affected by it—a mix of characters from various genders, orientations, and walks of life—find their lives changing and intertwining in various surprising ways, narratively examining their relationships to each other and their surrounding communities and culture.

Offered DRM-free, available worldwide at Amazon.

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