[Free Audiobooks] Kindred by Octavia E. Butler & Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina [1970s Time Travel Science Fiction & YA Historical Drama]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or modern, 1 non-fiction or speculative—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of reliving past historical events, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 29th.

  • Kindred by the late Octavia E. Butler, the recipient of multiple genre awards and inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, read by Kim Staunton from Recorded Books. A classic science fiction novel from the 1970s, starring a contemporary African-American woman who finds herself time traveling between her life in present-day California, and her slave ancestors’ lives on a plantation in pre-Civil War Maryland.

  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, read by Marisol Ramirez from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio. An historical YA coming of age drama novel set at the height of the infamous “Son of Sam” serial killer murders in 1970s New York, as a bilingual Cuban-American teen tries to juggle family dysfunction and emotional struggles and romantic attraction, amidst the backdrop of fear and violence and suspicion sweeping the city.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 29th, available worldwide.

[Free eBook] The Road to Ithaca by Ben Pastor [Classics-Inspired WWII Crete Murder Mystery]

The Road to Ithaca by Italian author Ben Pastor, a recipient of the Premio Flaiano international literature prize, is the 5th English-available novel in the Martin Bora series of historical murder mysteries, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Bitter Lemon Press.

The series (written out of chronological order with each adventure self-contained) stars a morally troubled German Wehrmacht officer of Prussian aristocratic background (apparently based on Claus von Stauffenberg), stationed in assorted countries at various points in his career prior to and during World War II, who finds himself growing increasingly uneasy with the growing Nazi influence and excesses of fascism even as he tries to maintain his belief in the ideals of his beloved homeland, and is also one of my favourite historical mystery series.

This installment takes place in occupied Crete in 1941, and finds him investigating the murder of a Red Cross representative with the reluctant help of an American archaeologist, following a trail into the hostile territory of the mountains amidst local bandits and resistance fighters in a journey of (self-)discovery reminiscent of Homer’s classic The Odyssey.

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

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Road to Ithaca by Ben Pastor [Classics-Inspired WWII Crete Murder Mystery]”

[Free eBooks] 50 books from Archipelago Press [Award-Winning World Literary, Historical, Poetry, Kids]

As a special treat during the ongoing quarantine, publisher Archipelago Press, who specialize in notable world literature in translation, have been offering 50 ebooks free for a limited time through May 20th.

The selection consists mainly of literary contemporary and historical novels and short story collections from notable authors and works including Nobel Prize-winning Icelandic author Halldór Laxness (with Wayward Heroes, a 1952 satire set in the medieval Viking world) and various nominees for the International Dublin Literary and other awards, but also includes poetry and some children’s picture books. Countries around the world are represented, ranging from Denmark to France to Morocco to Argentina to India and many more, with an assorted selection of older works from the early 20th century as well as more recent 21st century fare, and includes the occasional bilingual edition incorporating the original language alongside its translation.

You can find a full listing and links to obtain the giveaway selection on Archipelago’s dedicated news announcement blogpost (requires account signup with valid email, but no payment info; you may need to put in a convincing US billing and shipping address in order to checkout successfully, otherwise the system might be glitchy and attempt to add a non-existent extra shipping cost for the free ebooks to other countries).

NB: most of the books are available in both DRM-free PDF and ePub format, and I advise grabbing both due to potential formatting/layout issues for the poetry and anything that might depend on special typographic styling. Some books are only available in one format, and the cart doesn’t show which format you selected until you checkout, so I also suggest doing a double pass of getting all the ePubs first, and then the PDFs in a second checkout batch, or vice versa. A few formats for one or two books may be improperly priced, so make sure they say $0.00 when adding to the cart.

Three titles, Seraphin, The Gothamites, and Hiznobyūtī, are from their “Elsewhere Editions” imprint for children’s literature in translation, and will require a separate sign-up for that site. (Selecting the generic “eBook” option from the dropdown will give you PDF versions instead of the dedicated ePub option.) Also, French poet Maurice Scève’s Emblems, seems to be glitched and unavailable in any eBook format.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through Wednesday, May 20th (probably ending Eastern Time), directly from the publisher.

[Free Audiobooks] Stalking the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco & Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [YA Historical Horror Thriller & 19th C German Classic Play]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of dubious partnerships with morally suspect entities, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 20th.

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, read by Nicola Barber, from Hachette Audio. A Victorian-era YA historical thriller with horror elements and f/m romantic elements, starring an a high society lord’s daughter who secretly studies forensic medicine in her uncle’s laboratory alongside his apprentice, and finds herself on the trail of a serial killer.

  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, performed by a full cast including veteran actor Derek Jacobi, from Naxos Audiobooks. T he 19th century German classic play based on the even older legend of a man who is tempted to sell his soul to a devil for power and pleasure, which he begins to regret upon falling in love.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 20th, available worldwide.

[Free eBooks] 9 books from AmazonCrossing for World Book Day [International Literary & Genre Fiction & Non-Fiction]

As a special treat to celebrate the United Nations’ annual World Book Day event, 9 titles from assorted countries in various genres of fiction and non-fiction from the exclusive Amazon Crossing and Amazon Crossing Kids translation imprints are being given away, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Amazon.

The selection includes a sampling of international goodies for all ages and genres, from kids’ picture books to literary fiction from award-winning authors as well as genre thriller, romance, and historical sagas, and also true crime and memoir.

All the titles are listed with their Kindle store links @ the special World Book Day promotion page (change your local store as applicable from the provided drop-down; selection may vary by country) and include:

Non-Fiction:

  • Out of the Silence: After the Crash by Uruguayan rugby player Eduardo Strauch with Uruguayan-Argentinian author Mireya Soriano, a memoir about his experiences as a survivor of the famous 1972 plane crash carrying his rugby team in the snowbound Andes mountain, which left them stranded for months before rescue
  • The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Swedish author Jan Stocklassa, a retrospective true crime recounting of the late bestselling Swedish crime novelist of the acclaimed “Millenium” trilogy’s pre-fame journalistic attempt at investigating Swedish prime minister Olof Palme‘s unsolved murder

Fiction:

  • Along the Tapajós by Brazilian author Fernando Vilela, a children’s picture book recounting two siblings’ adventures along a river to rescue their pet tortoise
  • Life by the late Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning Chinese author Lu Yao, a 1980s-era retro-historical contemporary literary novel about a stubbornly idealistic young man from a rural village trying to make it in the big city
  • The Girl in the Tree by Yudus Nadi Literature Award-winning Turkish author Şebnem İşigüzel, a contemporary literary coming of age novel with f/m romantic elements about two young people in Istanbul during a time of violent unrest and political upheaval
  • The First Mrs. Rothschild by Israeli author Sara Aharoni, a Steinmatzky Prize-winning epistolary historical biographical novel with f/m romantic elements about young lovers in starting in a Jewish German ghetto in the 1770s, who eventually rise to found the famous banking dynasty over the course of the ensuing decades, told in the form of the titular character’s journals
  • The Price of Paradise by Spanish author Susana López Rubio, an historical f/m romantic saga, about the decades-long forbidden love affair between a young Spanish immigant and a local mobster’s wife, starting in 1940s Cuba
  • Your Perfect Year by pseudonymous German author Charlotte Lucas, a heartwarming contemporary literary novel about second chances
  • Hard Rain by South African author Irma Venter, 1st in the Rogue series of mystery/thrillers with f/m romantic elements starring a journalist and a photographer set throughout Africa, with this installment introducing to each other on an assignment in Tanzania as one of them becomes a suspect in the murder of an IT billionaire

Offered in most countries worldwide through just before midnight Pacific Time on Friday, April 24th, available at Amazon.

[Free eBook] Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett [Austen-Derivative Literary Sequel]

Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett, a joint pseudonym shared by the late Julia Braun Kessler and British novelist Gabrielle Donnelly, is a literary sequel novel, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for November and was originally published in 1993 by Thorndike Press, as the first in a set of sequel books focusing upon selected characters after the end of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.

This volume is a social drama with f/m romantic elements, focusing on Darcy’s younger sister Georgiana, as she chooses between suitors of her own.

Offered worldwide through November (maybe a few days longer due to the weekend and recent holiday), available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett [Austen-Derivative Literary Sequel]”

[Free eBook REPEAT] Journey to the Flame by Richard Monaco [Occult Historical Fantasy Adventure]

Journey to the Flame by Richard Monaco, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, is his standalone historical occult fantasy adventure, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 1985 by Bantam Spectra, and was strongly inspired by the works of author H. Rider Haggard, containing appearances by him and fellow author Rudyard Kipling, and other literary and historical figures of the time period.

The story is set in the era leading up to World War I, with the premise that the lost kingdom of the immortal Ayesha in Haggard’s classic novel She is actually real, the truth of its existence having been protected by an occult secret society, starring the wandering aviator who comes across it and must help protect the kingdom from a nefarious rival society’s forces who would seek to use its secrets for evil purposes in future wars.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook REPEAT] Journey to the Flame by Richard Monaco [Occult Historical Fantasy Adventure]”

[Free eBook] Sixty-Four, Ninety-Four by R. H. Mottram [Vintage 1920s France WWI Historical Literary Novel]

Sixty-Four, Ninety-Four by the late English author R. H. Mottram, who was also a wartime poet and later lord mayor of Norwich, is the 2nd novel in the The Spanish Farm Trilogy of historical literary fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1927 by Chatto & Windus. The first novel in the trilogy won the Hawthornden Prize. The stories are set during World War I and depict the impacts of the war upon daily civilian life as well as soldierly routine, written partially from the author’s own experiences, set in Northern France at “The Spanish Farm”, an accommodation for young British soldiers heading to and from the trenches which becomes a sort of sanctuary, run by a strong-willed Flemish farmer’s daughter.

This installment has f/m romantic elements (though not necessarily a happy ending), featuring a French-speaking Lieutenant whose way out of the dangerous trenches is a reassignment to translate for the woman who runs the Spanish Farm, with whom he will have many encounters later throughout the war as he begins to reluctantly fall for her even as she begins to despair of receiving word of her former lover who had departed to join the war effort, and personal and cultural clashes may doom their nascent relationship.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Sixty-Four, Ninety-Four by R. H. Mottram [Vintage 1920s France WWI Historical Literary Novel]”

[Free eBook] Dawn of a Legend by Christopher Nicole [19th C Biographical Historical Novel]

Dawn of a Legend by the late British author Christopher Nicole is the 1st novel in the Jane Elizabeth Digby Saga duology of 19th century historical biographical fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 2010 by Severn House. The duology recounts the dramatic real life of Lady Jane Digby, a 19th century Englishwoman who was known in her time for her free-spirited and scandalous lifestyle, which began as the daughter of aristocrats in Norfolk and ended as the wife of a Sheikh 20 years her junior in Syria after traveling the globe and having many lovers and adventures in between.

This installment covers the earlier portion of her life, taking place across Europe as she escapes her first unsatisfying marriage and is courted by many as she acquires new husbands and royal lovers, establishing a more independent life amidst personal tragedies and triumphs.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Dawn of a Legend by Christopher Nicole [19th C Biographical Historical Novel]”

[Free eBook REPEAT] Villa Mimosa by Jerrard Tickell [WWII Literary Heist Thriller Satire]

Villa Mimosa by the late Irish author Jerrard Tickell, whose WWII comedy novel Appointment with Venus has been twice adapted to film, is his standalone historical literary fiction heist thriller, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1960 by Hodder & Stoughton.

The story is a literary novel with satirical elements, framed as a heist thriller, taking place in occupied France during World War II, and is centred around a daring British military operation to rescue a group of eccentric civilians from an area previously thought safely evacuated.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook REPEAT] Villa Mimosa by Jerrard Tickell [WWII Literary Heist Thriller Satire]”