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Free & Cheap Reads, 2/28/15 | Love, War, Legal Thrillers & Steampunk Fantasy

This week we bring you tales of family secrets and romance, vigilante justice, a fantasy set in Victorian England,a beloved children’s classic, and more.

The Gardens Of Kyoto: A Novel by Kate Walbert, $1.99

The Gardens of Kyoto by Kate WalbertExceeding the promise of her New York Times Notable Book debut, Kate Walbert brings her prizewinning “painter’s eye and poet’s voice” (The Hartford Courant) to a mesmerizing story of war, romance, and grief.

I had a cousin, Randall, killed on Iwo Jima. Have I told you?

So begins Kate Walbert’s beautiful and heart-breaking novel about a young woman, Ellen, coming of age in the long shadow of World War II. Forty years later she relates the events of this period, beginning with the death of her favorite cousin, Randall, with whom she had shared Easter Sundays, secrets, and, perhaps, love. In an isolated, aging Maryland farmhouse that once was a stop on the Underground Railroad, Randall had grown up among ghosts: his father, Sterling, present only in body; his mother, dead at a young age; and the apparitions of a slave family. When Ellen receives a package after Randall’s death, containing his diary and a book called The Gardens of Kyoto, her bond to him is cemented, and the mysteries of his short life start to unravel.

The narrative moves back and forth between Randall’s death in 1945 and the autumn six years later, when Ellen meets Lieutenant Henry Rock at a college football game on the eve of his departure for Korea. But it soon becomes apparent that Ellen’s memory may be distorting reality, altered as it is by a mix of imagination and disappointment, and that the truth about Randall and Henry — and others — may be hidden. With lyrical, seductive prose, Walbert spins several parallel stories of the emotional damage done by war. Like the mysterious arrangements of the intricate sand, rock, and gravel gardens of Kyoto, they gracefully assemble into a single, rich mosaic.

Based on a Pushcart and O. Henry Prize-winning story, this masterful first novel establishes Walbert as a writer of astonishing elegance and power.

The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos, $1.99

The Neon Lawyer by Victor MethosWith money and hope in short supply, newly minted attorney Brigham Theodore decides it’s time to lower his standards. He joins a seedy fly-by-night firm in Salt Lake City out of desperation. After he loses his first case—a speeding ticket—he’s convinced his career is over. But to his shock, his boss hands him a slightly more complex case: capital murder.

Brigham’s new client is Amanda Pierce, a lost, exhausted woman who gunned down the man who tortured and killed her six-year-old daughter. A jury may prove sympathetic to her unbearable pain, but the law is no fan of vigilante justice—and neither is Vince Dale, the slick and powerful prosecutor who’s never lost a murder case. There’s no question that Amanda pulled the trigger—she did it in front of five witnesses. If she pleads guilty, she will avoid a death sentence, but saving her life this way comes with an admission that what she did was wrong. However, if she refuses the “guilty” label, Brigham will have no choice but to fight for his career—and Amanda’s life.

Brothers And Bones by James Hankins, $0.99

Brothers And Bones by James HankinsCharlie Beckham is a rising star among federal prosecutors until, on the morning of the most important court day of his career, a deranged homeless man turns Charlie’s life upside down with a single word. He calls Charlie by a secret nickname known by only one other person in the world—Charlie’s brother Jake, who went missing thirteen years ago. Could the homeless man have information about Jake’s whereabouts after all these years? Is it possible that the long-haired, bearded vagrant actually is Jake? Charlie has a hundred questions but the homeless man disappears before Charlie can ask a single one.

So begins Charlie’s search for answers, and for his brother, a search that leads him down Boston’s darkest streets, into its blackest alleys, and, finally, into its criminal underworld. But if Charlie wants answers he’ll have to get them from some of the most feared and ruthless people in the city.

Marking Time (The Immortal Descendants, Book 1) by April White, FREE

Marking Time by April WhiteSeventeen-year-old tagger Saira Elian can handle anything… a mother who mysteriously disappears, a stranger who stalks her around London, and even the noble English Grandmother who kicked Saira and her mother out of the family. But when an old graffiti tag in a tube station transports Saira to the nineteenth century and she comes face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, she realizes she needs help after all.

Saira meets Archer, a charming student who helps her blend in as much as a tall, modern American teen can in Victorian England. He reveals the existence of the Immortals: Time, Nature, Fate, War and Death, and explains to Saira that it is possible to move between centuries – if you are a Descendant of Time.

Saira finds unexpected friendships at a boarding school for Immortal Descendants and a complicated love with a young man from the past. But time is running out for her mother, and Saira must embrace her new identity as she hides from Archer a devastating secret about his future that may cost him his life.

The Gray and Guilty Sea: An Oregon Coast Mystery by Scott William Carter and Jack Nolte, FREE

The Gray and Guilty Sea Scott William Carter Jack NolteA curmudgeon. An iconoclast. A loner. That’s how people describe Garrison Gage, and that’s when they’re being charitable.

After his wife’s brutal murder in New York, and Gage himself is beaten nearly to death, the crippled private investigator retreats three thousand miles to the quaint coastal town of Barnacle Bluffs, Oregon. He spends the next five years in a convalescent stupor, content to bide his time filling out crossword puzzles and trying to forget that his wife’s death is his fault. But all that changes when he discovers the body of a young woman washed up on the beach, and his conscience draws him back into his old occupation – forcing him to confront the demons of his own guilt before he can hope to solve the girl’s murder.

“It was a shrewd marketing move for author Jack Nolte to entitle his first mystery novel The Gray and Guilty Sea. It makes it nearly irresistible for an old John D. MacDonald fan like me . . . Recommended.” — Brandywine Books

“The Gray and Guilty Sea is quite an enjoyable novel that engages a reader on multiple levels.” — Stimulated Outlet Book Reviews

“Jack Nolte’s outstanding debut crime novel set on the Oregon coast and starring a misanthropic former detective is as much a fascinating character study as it is an original story.” – Michael J. Totten, author of The Road to Fatima Gate.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett, FREE

The Secret GardenDigitized edition with full-color illustrations (Kindle-friendly and great for kids!).
• A neat table of contents (TOC) for faster page-turning experience.
• Fonts have been optimized and tested for display on Kindle and other e-readers
• This is the complete and unabridged edition of the original text. Proof-read and free of errors, this is hands down THE best version you will find for your Kindle.

This is a must-read for children and adults, especially if you missed out on this while growing up.

There was a girl called Mary Lennox, she grew up in India, and was extremely fawned on by the servants, whose only job was to keep her quiet and out of the way of her parents. Suddenly, her parents die and she’s sent to live with her uncle in England, a grumpy old man who happened to be mourning the loss of his wife. When orphaned Mary Lennox arrives at Misselthwaite Manor, her uncle’s estate, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. Her uncle wants nothing to do with her. Lonely, spoiled Mary explores the manor and the garden, finding all sorts of hidden secrets as well as her own happiness.

It’s just the kind of story that will leave you feel warm and comfortable inside!

 

 

 

 

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