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Sweatpants & Books | Free & Cheap Reads October 2017

By Shandle Blaha

These great reads won’t break your bank and include novels from best selling authors Kurt Vonnegut and T.R. Ragan.

I Am Watching You by Teresa DriscollI Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

$4.99

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.”

Hocus Pocus by Kurt VonnegutHocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

$2.99

“Eugene Debs Hartke (named after the famous early 20th century Socialist working class leader) describes an odyssey from college professor to prison inmate to prison warden back again to prisoner in another of Vonnegut’s bitter satirical explorations of how and where (and why) the American dream begins to die. Employing his characteristic narrative device–a retrospective diary in which the protagonist retraces his life at its end, a desperate and disconnected series of events here in Hocus Pocus show Vonnegut with his mask off and his rhetorical devices unshielded.

Debs (and Vonnegut) see academia just as imprisoning as the corrupt penal system and they regard politics as the furnishing and marketing of lies. Debs, already disillusioned by circumstance, quickly tracks his way toward resignation and then fury. As warden and prisoner, Debs (and the reader) come to understand that the roles are interchangeable; as a professor jailed for “”radical”” statements in the classroom reported by a reactionary student, he comes to see the folly of all regulation. The “”hocus pocus”” of the novel’s title does not describe only the jolting reversals and seemingly motiveless circumstance which attend Debs’ disillusion and suffering, but also describe the political, social, and economic system of a country built upon can’t, and upon the franchising of lies.

At 68, Vonnegut had not only abandoned the sentiment and cracked optimism manifest in Slaughterhouse-Five, he had abandoned any belief in the system or faith for its recovery. This novel is another in a long series of farewells to the farmland funeral rites of childhood.”

A Quiet Life in the Country (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 1) by T E KinseyA Quiet Life in the Country (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 1) by T E Kinsey

$1. 99

“Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.”

Wives of War by Soraya M. LaneWives of War by Soraya M. Lane

$1.99

“London, 1944. Two young nurses meet at a train station with a common purpose: to join the war effort. Scarlet longs for the chance to find her missing fiancé, Thomas, and to prove to her family—and to herself—that she’s stronger than everybody thinks. Nursing is in Ellie’s blood, but her humble background is vastly different from Scarlet’s privileged upbringing. Though Ellie puts on a brave face, she’s just as nervous as Scarlet about what awaits them in France.

In Normandy, the two friends soon encounter the seemingly unflappable Lucy. Scarlet and Ellie are in awe of her courage and competence, but the experienced nurse is well aware of the dangers of the job they’ve chosen—and even she is terrified they won’t make it home alive.

Pushed to their limits by the brutality of a world at war, Scarlet, Ellie and Lucy will need to rely on each other—and the power of their friendship—to survive.”

Spirit Horses by Alan S. EvansSpirit Horses by Alan S. Evans

$0.99

“In the hills of Tennessee, Shane Carson, a gifted, nationally-recognized horseman, is living the good life. When a mysterious mustang shows up on his farm, Shane doesn’t know how–or why–the horse appeared, but the horse’s distinctive brand identifies her. She is one of the Spirit Horses, a rare, wild herd that runs free on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. Watched over for centuries in the tribe’s ancestral valleys, these exquisite horses, according to belief, provide a link to the afterlife. When tragedy strikes in his life, Shane nearly loses his will to live–but for one promise he made to his young son: to return the mustang to her rightful home. On this bittersweet journey, Shane finds a world where tradition reigns, and ancient beliefs transcend modern logic. In this magnificent expanse of blue sky and wide open spaces, love is alive, but hate, intolerance, and greed threaten to close in. To make good on his vow, Shane must face the danger that threatens these horses, the tribe’s legacy, and his destiny.”

Coming Clean A Memoir by Kimberly Rae MillerComing Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

$0.99

“Kimberly Rae Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house hid teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

In this dazzling memoir, Miller brings to life her experience growing up in a rat-infested home, hiding her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and the emotional burden that ultimately led to her suicide attempt. In beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents, which has thrived in spite of the odds.

Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where you come from and understanding the relationships that define you. It is also a powerful story of recovery and redemption.”

Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Series, Book 1) by T.R. RaganAbducted (Lizzy Gardner Series, Book 1) by T.R. Ragan

$0.99

“When Lizzy Gardner was only seventeen, what should have been the perfect night became the perfect nightmare. Kidnapped just blocks from home after a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Jared, she woke up to find herself at the mercy of a depraved serial killer. Imprisoned and tormented for months by the maniac she came to know as Spiderman, Lizzy narrowly escaped, the only one of his victims to survive. But Spiderman escaped too, outwitting police and cursing Lizzy to spend her life looking over her shoulder…

Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a private investigator who teaches self-defense to teenage girls in her free time. She does what she can to help others protect themselves and to forget the horror of her ordeal, yet fears she will always be known as “the one who got away.” Then she receives a phone call from Jared, now a special agent for the FBI, with grim news. The killer has resurfaced, this time with a very specific target—Lizzy. And he’s made it clear that she will not escape him again. So begins a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, a terrifying, heart-pounding hunt that only one will survive.”

Illuminated Fairy Tales, Vol. 1 by The Brothers GrimmThe Brothers Grimm: Illuminated Fairy Tales, Vol. 1 [Kindle in Motion] by Brothers Grimm (Author), Kali Ciesemier (Illustrator), Wesley Allsbrook (Illustrator)

$0.99

“From “Rapunzel” to “Hansel and Gretel,” Grimm’s Fairy Tales have enchanted readers for generations. This dramatic Kindle in Motion edition presents seven classic stories—each restored to its original version and reimagined with modern digital illustrations.

Each tale is lovingly portrayed by a different artist: Kali Ciesemier’s vibrant colors animate the thorny path of “Briar Rose.” The sinister course of “Hansel and Gretel” takes a twist in the candy hues of Peter Diamond. Daniel Krall’s richly detailed line work shines amid the wickedly dark “The Juniper-Tree.” Nicolas Rix’s charming storybook style delights in “The Frog-Prince or Iron Henry.” Ashley Mackenzie’s golden tones light up the ball in “Cinderella.” Horses, ducks, and birds turn macabre in Wesley Allsbrook’s wildly gestural portrayal of “The White Snake.” And Rapunzel lets down her hair in Rovina Cai’s hauntingly beautiful drawings.

Experience the iconic classics you know and love, lavishly illustrated to breathe new life into age-old tales.”

A Thousand Letters by Staci HartA Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

FREE

“Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion”

Cicada Spring A Novel by Christian GalacarCicada Spring: A Novel by Christian Galacar

FREE

“On a warm May evening in the spring of 1979, the people of Heartsridge, Massachusetts, are living the American dream. Families are gathered for barbecues. Kids are playing in front yards. Gardens are being kept. Meanwhile, Kara Price stumbles home through the woods, raped and beaten, her life shattered by a wicked act of violence, perpetrated by one of the town’s most beloved and public figures.

Surrounding Kara is a cast of compelling and nefarious characters—a violent-tempered mayor who can do no wrong in the eyes of the town, a sheriff bound by the rules and plagued by a guilty conscience, a father bent on revenge, a serial killer in the midst of an identity crisis. And at the center of it all there’s Kara, who just wants to move on with her life and forget everything that happened to her. But how can she do that when everyone thinks she is a liar who is only out for attention? With plot and emotion braided together by a careful hand, this haunted group of people all acting on behalf of their own interests begs the question: How far would you go to protect your own?”

A View to Die For (Books to Die For Book 1) by Richard HoustonA View to Die For (Books to Die For Book 1) by Richard Houston

FREE

“The story is not your typical murder mystery. The sleuth is not a detective, private eye, or lawyer. He’s an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dog.

Jacob Martin is trying to make the best of a divorce and mid-life crisis when he gets a call at two o’clock Sunday morning from his mother. His sister has been arrested for the murder of her fourth husband, and his father is near death. Thus begins an adventure that takes Jake and his golden retriever from their Colorado retreat to a backwater town in the Missouri Ozarks where they search for cold-blooded killers, a cache of gold coins buried by Jesse James, and the love of a beautiful nurse.”

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About Shandle Blaha (179 Articles)

Shandle is the Operations Director for Sweatpants & Coffee. She works from home so she wears yoga pants every day and loves some coffee in her cream and sugar. A rerun of Friends is always on her TV and her stack of books to read is always growing. She and her husband love to travel and you can follow her travels on Instagram at: shandle_spc.

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