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Free & Cheap Reads, 6/30/15

All prices are current as of date of publication. If you try any of these books, let us know you how liked them!

1 Stranger Child by Rachel AbbotMysteryStranger Child by Rachel Abbot, $1.99

via Amazon:

When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.

Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.

Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.

Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?

When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.

They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right.

2 Worth the Wait by Jamie BeckRomanceWorth The Wait (St. James Book 1) by Jamie Beck, $1.99

via Amazon:

Thirteen years ago, Vivi LeBrun was sketching a rooster and eating Oreos when she first met—and fell for—her friend’s brother, David St. James. Since then, her love for David has only intensified thanks to years of friendship with his family, who rescued her from a lonely, tumultuous childhood. As she travels to Block Island to vacation with the St. James siblings, Vivi daydreams about reuniting with David, hoping he’ll finally see her as his soul mate.

After his mother’s death, David distanced himself from his siblings, determined to hide a devastating family secret. Now, he’s brought a new girlfriend along to his homecoming—one who’s pushing for a serious commitment. The last thing he needs on his growing list of problems is his budding attraction to Vivi.

With tensions running high, David’s behavior triggers a series of events that might cost him the love he’s always taken for granted and Vivi the only real family she’s ever known.

3 Lovecrafts Monsters by Neil Gaiman et alSci-Fi/FantasyLovecraft’s Monsters by Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas, et al, $1.99

via Amazon:

Prepare to meet the wicked progeny of the master of modern horror. In Lovecraft’s Monsters, H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous creations—Cthulhu, Shoggoths, Deep Ones, Elder Things, Yog-Sothoth, and more—appear in all their terrifying glory. Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters’ unique visage.

Contributors include such literary luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas. The monsters are lovingly rendered in spectacular original art by World Fantasy Award–winning artist John Coulthart (The Steampunk Bible).

Legions of Lovecraft fans continue to visit his bizarre landscapes and encounter his unrelenting monsters. Now join them in their journey…if you dare.

4 Lady of Devices by Shelley AdinaSteampunk/FantasyLady of Devices by Shelley Adina, FREE

via Amazon:

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.

At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

5 Oddly Normal by John SchwartzLGBTQ/Non-fictionOddly Normal by John Schwartz, $2.99

via Amazon:

Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. After mustering the courage to come out to his classmates, Joe’s disclosure — delivered in a tirade about homophobic attitudes—was greeted with dismay and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he took an overdose of pills.

Additionally, John and his wife, Jeanne, found that their son’s school was unable to address Joe’s special needs. Angry and frustrated, they initiated their own search for services and groups that could help Joe understand that he wasn’t alone. Oddly Normal is Schwartz’s very personal attempt to address his family’s own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.

Schwartz follows Joseph through childhood to the present day, interweaving his narrative with common questions, including: Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay? Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness? Should a child be pushed into coming out? Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids –and any kid who is different — learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.

“[A] moving account of a family’s journey to raise and protect their gay son… Equally humorous and heartrending, this memoir reveals just what it takes to raise children who are different in a world still resistant.”
Publishers Weekly

“John Schwartz and Jeanne Mixon are the heroes of Oddly Normal.  Still, the star of the book is Joe.  It’s impossible not to fall in love with a kid who, even amid his torment, displays such droll humor and fierce intelligence.”
The New York Times Book Review

6 Rising by Holly KellyYA/Fantasy Rising by Holly Kelly, FREE

via Amazon:

In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea–humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou–the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean–is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet…

Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.

7 The Intern by Dale WileyThrillersThe Intern by Dale Wiley, FREE

via Amazon:

It’s 1995. Things are going great for new Washington, DC intern Trent Norris. He’s out on his own, he’s found a fabulous woman to date, and if he doesn’t love his internship, he doesn’t hate it either. Life is nice.

But things can change in a moment in DC, and Trent finds himself the prime suspect in two murders and a slew of other crimes. Overnight he becomes the most wanted man in America.

Trent has to find a way — any way — out. He finds a way to hole up at The Watergate on a senator’s dime and enlists a comely call girl as his unwitting ally. But with the media eating him alive, he knows he doesn’t have long before they catch up with him. Can The Intern find his way out of this mess?

From tony clubs in Georgetown to Capitol Hill murders, The Intern has all the twists and turns of a classic DC thriller, with an added comic flair.

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