[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 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.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] Wraith of Vengeance by Edmund Glasby [Horror Mystery Collection]

Wraith of Vengeance by British author Edmund Glasby is a paranormal mystery/horror fiction collection short story collection, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This contains six dark tales with horror and speculative/paranormal mystery themes, including stories previously published in various small-press anthologies.

The title piece takes place in Venice, which is experiencing a spate of mysterious drowning deaths of burn victims in the canals, starring an inquisitive tour company adviser looking to plunder the stock of the latest victim, a shady antiques dealer storing his wares on an island abandoned since an outbreak of plague in the Middle Ages, who may just find more than he bargained for.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Mirror of the Night by E. C. Tubb [Vintage Fantasy & Supernatural Horror Collection]

Mirror of the Night by the late British author E. C. Tubb, perhaps best known for his long-running science fiction Dumarest Saga & edited by British editor Philip Harbottle, is a reprint collection of dark fantasy and supernatural horror shorts, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 2003 by Sarob Press.

The collection reprints 10 short stories and novelettes spanning Tubbs’ decades-long career from the 1950s to the 1990s, with tales that originally appeared in genre magazines such as Science Fantasy and Supernatural Stories, with a retrospective introduction by editor Philip Harbottle.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A Friendly Exorcism by Talmage Powell [Vintage 1960s Supernatural Mystery Short]

A Friendly Exorcism by the late Talmage Powell, a prolific multi-genre pulp fiction author, is a standalone vintage supernatural mystery 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 and science fiction reprints.

This was originally published in 1968 in the March issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine magazine. NB: As a special promotion for their 100th week anniversary, the Black Cat Community (now expanded to vintage Mystery & Science Fiction reprints) is offering 1 free month (7+ new assorted short story, mini-anthology, & novel-length ebooks rotated in every week and a free issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine) using the coupon code 100WEEKS for new or lapsed members when signing up for a monthly subscription (can cancel any time) using the “PayWhirl” option through August 26th (probably expires Eastern Time).

The story stars a young couple whose newly-purchased house appears to be haunted by a poltergeist, who are determined to uncover the mystery behind why it chooses to manifest to them.

Offered worldwide through August 26th, available DRM-free directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] The Fabled Oak by Simon Clark [Paranormal Investigative Mystery Horror]

The Fabled Oak by English author Simon Clark, a recipient of multiple British Fantasy Awards, is the 3rd novella in his Byron Makangelo series of horror-flavoured paranormal investigative adventures, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

The series stars a wealthy eccentric with a pet monkey and a team of ghost hunters, who investigate paranormal cases in modern times. This story is set in Wales, taking place at a hippie commune whose children insist that a particular ancient tree where they once played now harbours a monstrous supernatural spirit.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free Audiobooks] The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde & The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson [Young Adult Paranormal Suspense Thriller & Classic Gothic Satire]

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 being haunted by ghosts, both real and of reputation, available until 7am Eastern Time on July 11th, are as follows:

  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, a YA contemporary paranormal suspense thriller with f/m romantic elements, starring a Louisiana girl transplanted to a London boarding school, just as an outbreak of murders mimicking the infamous Jack the Ripper case begins, leaving the baffled police without leads even as she begins to believe that she is the only one who has seen the suspected killer and has become his target in turn; read by Nicola Barber, from Brilliance Audio, available worldwide
  • The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde, a classic short story, originally published in 1887, which is a satirically comedic take on the conventional gothic ghost story trope, as the residents of a haunted castle do not seem to be particularly bothered by the antics of the ghost; read by Rupert Degas, from Naxos Audiobooks, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on July 11th, 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 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 eBook] As Kingfishers Catch Fire and Dragonflies Draw Flame by Philip McCormac [Supernatural Horror Police Procedural]

As Kingfishers Catch Fire and Dragonflies Draw Flame by Ulster-born England resident author Philip McCormac a standalone supernatural horror police procedural crime thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

The story is a hybrid of supernatural horror and police procedural crime thriller, mixing in political tensions in Northern Ireland, when a demon bound during the 17th century finds a way to wreak havoc between Catholics and Protestants in modern Ulster, as detectives investigate the disappearance of local children belonging to a religious youth group amidst threats from the IRA and conflict with the Catholic Church which no longer acknowledges the possibility of demonic influence or the usefulness of exorcism.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Witchfinder General by Ronald Bassett [Film-Adapted 17th C Historical Thriller]

Witchfinder General by the late British author Ronald Bassett, an historical novelist who also wrote under the pseudonym William Clive, is a standalone historical biographical horror thriller novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1966 by Herbert Jenkins and was adapted into the eponymous cult classic horror film (marketed in the US as The Conqueror Worm) directed by the late Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price.

The story is a heavily fictionalized and sensational retelling of the exploits of the real life Matthew Hopkins, a 17tth century British lawyer who became a self-appointed fanatic witch-hunter during the English Civil War. NB: This was originally promoted as a horror novel due to some violent content considered worthy of warning more sensitive readers about at the time (circa the 1960s), which would probably be considered fairly tame today. YMMV.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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