[Free Audiobooks] 2 free titles from AudioSYNC Summer of Reading [Young Adult Novel, Documentary Memoir]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2017 promotion for young adults continues, which offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic, 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, available until 7am Eastern Time on May 18th, are as follows:

  • Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes, a teen contemporary fiction novel about young people in the inner city learning to express themselves when a teacher begins an “open mic” night for poetry, from Recorded Books, read by a full cast
  • Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by National Public Radio, an award-winning personal history documentary programme which followed a group of teens as they recorded interviews, audio journals, and daily life experiences, and then revisited them 16 years later to find out how their lives turned out, from Highbridge Audio, hosted by Joe Richman

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on May 18th, 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] Cliffhanger by T. J. Middleton [Literary Crime Thriller Satire]

Cliffhanger by T. J. Middleton, a pseudonym for Tim Binding, an award-nominated literary fiction author and screenwriter for assorted British TV comedies, is the 1st novel in his Cliffhanger series of satirical literary fiction crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Ipso Books.

The series is a literary fiction black comedy take on crime thrillers, which explores the slightly demented psyche of middle England via wacky crime hijinx. This installment is a modern-day tale of a man planning the “perfect crime” with the intention of murdering his wife, but initially failing to succeed despite his best efforts, which are further complicated by the eccentricities of his nosy neighbours, leading to escalating crime upon crime as he commits further ones to try and cover up the tracks of the previous.

Offered DRM-free in selected countries worldwide, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton [Literary Fiction]

These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton is her standalone contemporary literary fiction novel with f/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster UK.

This is a literary fiction novel which is a love story, but not necessarily a romance, which explores the meaning of love via the intertwining long-term relationships between a set of best friends and lovers, and what would seem to be an unrequited longing where what one thinks is true love may not win out as one has come to expect.

Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.

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[Free eBook] The Tower by Marguerite Steen [Vintage Literary Fiction]

The Tower 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 standalone vintage literary fiction novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1959 by Collins. The story focuses on the dramatic tensions underlying domestic relationships and thwarted dreams, as a painter of artistic temperament is tempted by desperate family need to take a salaried day job which his wife recognizes he is unsuited for, and instead encourages him to take a foreign art commission which turns out to be an even more disastrous undertaking for them both.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] The Roar of the Tiger by Annie Ayre [Historical Comedy Novel]

The Roar of the Tiger by Annie Ayre, a pseudonym for author Rosemary Kingsland, is her satirical literary historical novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1985 by Penguin’s Viking imprint under the title After the Ball Was Over using the Rosemary Kingsland name. This is a farcical comedy set in the fictional English settler township of Jamalpur in Northern India in the 1930s (the author herself was born and raised in India before her family resettled in the UK), which maintains the equipment of a railway company. The story focuses on the various eccentric characters who both live there and are brought in by the trains, and the many odd things that happen in and around and because of them.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A Year in Tuscany by Annie Ayre [Literary Romantic Comedy]

A Year in Tuscany by Annie Ayre, a pseudonym for author Rosemary Kingsland, is her standalone literary novel with f/m romantic comedy elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1987 by Viking Penguin under the title Cassata using the Rosemary Kingsland name. This is a contemporary literary fiction novel structured as a romantic comedy, starring the two daughters of an Italy-resident Danish duke who abruptly announces that he is selling the family villa in Tuscany, and the ensuing escapades as assorted schemes, courtships, and attempted reconciliations between estranged spouses take place while everyone scrambles to adjust.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Midnight Dancer by Annie Ayre [Historical Drama Novel with Romance]

Midnight Dancer by Annie Ayre, a pseudonym for author Rosemary Kingsland, is her standalone historical literary drama novel with strong f/m romantic suspense elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1980 by Sphere under the title Hussy using the Rosemary Kingsland name and is a novelization of the eponymous film starring Helen Mirren. The story is set during the 1960s in London, and stars a hostess at an exotic club where drugs and prostitution are on the menu, who strives for a better life for herself and her young son, and falls in love with a co-worker who wants to take her away from it all, but may not be able to do so as both their shady pasts catch up with them.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A Small Death in Berlin by Annie Ayre [Literary Satire Historical Novel]

A Small Death in Berlin by Annie Ayre, a pseudonym for author Rosemary Kingsland, is her standalone satirical literary historical fiction novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1979 by Corgi under the title Just a Gigolo using the Rosemary Kingsland name, and is a loose novelization of the eponymous film starring the late rock star David Bowie and also featuring classic Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich. This is a darkly comedic novel about the effects of war which has been likened to Evelyn Waugh’s classic Sword of Honour trilogy. The story takes place in the aftermath of WWI, when a Prussian officer returning home to Berlin finds everything seemingly changed for the worse, and also that he has no prospects for employment besides the local brothel, and begins embarking on a surprising and increasingly strange lifestyle path.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] dozens of freebies during Smashwords Read an Ebook Week sale [Fiction & Non-Fiction]

Today is the last day of the annual Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale, and dozens of previously-published free ebooks are being given away (alongside thousands more by indie authors). These are all DRM-free, available worldwide, and will require signing up for an account with them (no payment info needed), ending midnight tonight (March 11th), probably Eastern Time (possibly Pacific).

For free, Canadian backlist publisher BevEditions has an excellent selection of Canadian fiction and non-fiction in many genres, including history, biography, true crime, mysteries, historical and literary fiction, mostly previously published during the 1980s and 1990s by major publishers such as Doubleday and HarperCollins, including works by historian Marian Fowler, Arthur Ellis Award-winning mystery author Lyn Hamilton, Jewish-Canadian Order of Canada recipient Morley Torgov (whose works have been adapted into film), and many more. I’ve read several of these in the past, and highly recommend picking up the lot if you can get it.

I apologize for the very short notice on this. My internet has been down, and I’m posting this from the library. NB: Smashwords’ site is currently buggy, so to get the freebies (or purchase discounted books), you’ll have to add the book to your cart by choosing to ignore the expired coupon warning, then manually apply the coupon code (e.g. SFREE) from the book’s product page, to see the discount price appear before checking out. For the most efficient “shopping”, add a bunch of stuff to your cart first, and then copy-paste the coupon code into their respective boxes, and hit “Apply Coupon” at the bottom to have them all discount at once.

To browse the other freebies offered, start here at the Smashwords Read an EBook Week Sale dedicated promo page, then you can pick a genre category from the sidebar, and use the price/coupon categories to refine your results. I advise checking the SFREE 100% off category first, as the regular Free page will pull up things which are not necessarily part of the limited-time promo, but offered free as their usual price.

Also, if you are interested in reprints of 1980s/1990s science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery, the following imprints are offering 50% off previously-published works by authors such as Craig Shaw Gardner (humorous light fantasy formerly out from Ace Books), Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (Nebula-nominated, and one of my favourite fantasy authors), Bill Pronzini, Melissa Scott (John W. Campbell Best New Writer winner, and also a Lambda Literary Award-nominee), World Fantasy Award winner Robert Holdstock, and many more: Crossroad Press, Untreed Reads, Infinity Plus, Gypsy Shadow Publishing

If you happen to miss something, many of these publishers also participate in the Smashwords July sale, and will probably also do Read an Ebook Week next year as well.

[Free eBook] Living Wellsprings: The Hymns, Songs and Poems of N.F.S. Grundtvig [19th C Danish Literature]

Living Wellsprings: The Hymns, Songs and Poems of N.F.S. Grundtvig edited and translated by Edward Broadbridge, British expat and long-term resident of Denmark, is the 2nd volume in the N.F.S. Grundtvig: Works in English series collecting and translating the works of the noted Danish historical figure, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This volume in the series contains the translated poetry, psalms, and other songs written by N. F. S. Grundtvig, a highly influential 19th century Danish author, philosopher, and teacher whose proposed models for continuing education are still used today, and includes an introduction by author Uffe Jonas, who has composed a number of musical settings for Grundtvig’s words. While not exactly an annotated edition, many of the psalms and poems are footnoted with brief but helpful explanations for references and imagery which might not be obvious to a non-Danish, non-19th century, non-religious reader; and there’s a listing of the context of each work as it fits into the late author’s personal timeline and creative intentions.

Offered through the month of March, available DRM-free worldwide.

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