Friday, August 12, 2011

FREEBIE FRIDAY (Aug 12) #reading @goodreads @fridayreads @40kbooks

Good morning, everyone! Because I'm up and blogging so early, I'm actually here before Tracy over at Booked Up has even posted her Friday Blog Hop post! Yikes. Well, that's easily remedied (have sent an email to the tardy mum) I'm not doing the blog hop but I can always answer the Friday meme question myself.

This week at Crazy-for-Books, Jenn is asking about "crazy book titles."  

Highlight titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! 

I can do that. I think. Okay, I've got it!

Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's #3 on my list of favorite books in the Miles Vorkosigan series (#1=Memory, #2=Mirror Dance). The cover art is part of a meme Baen Books did for a few of the Vorkosigan Series books (can you name which ones?) The title refers to a planet in Lois's Nexus Universe for the Vorkosigan series, or the Vorkosiverse as it's sometimes called. Just don't try to say that out loud. LOL. It also refers to the people and culture who occupy the planet, which is at the seat of the 8-planets strong Cetagandan Empire, or the general-purpose bad guys in Lois's Vor books.

As it turns out, they're not so bad. The Cetagandans are some of the most interesting and human non-humans in the entire series. (The guy on the left of the book cover image is the Cetagandan, a Ghem Lord. You can tell by his face paint). I like the Cetagandans and this book in particular because of how intricately-woven it is with minute details--like the pink pate hand-sculpted swans swimming through rivers of individually-placed, perfectly aligned grains of rice. This is "hors doeuvres" at a funeral. Right. This is classic Cetagandan OCD behavior which cracks me up the way Lois describes it. One of the few times I actually do laugh out loud while reading. And I laugh everytime I read this book and stumble upon one of the innane little Cetagandan obsessions. The only thing funnier is when Ivan Vorpatril finds kittens growing on trees at the genetically-engineered "flower show" and wants to save every last ball of fluff he can so he starts plucking kittens. Poor Ivan. He means well.

This book is one of the most surprising stories in the series in that it's both madcap hilarity and an intricate mystery, and it's all artfully woven together by a master storyteller. And that, right there, sums up the concept of Cetaganda--the planet, the people, the book. Oh and the author, Lois McMaster Bujold. She doesn't have a necklace full of Hugo and Nebula awards for nothing!

Okay, I guess the title's not the "craziest" I've ever run across, but it's one of the most-apt (and the Cetagandans themselves are some of the "craziest" I've ever run across). Lois's books are available just about anywhere and everywhere, including audiobook formats and a couple of dozen languages for international distribution. Get a copy of Cetaganda today. You'll treasure it for years to come. I bought a copy during the brief and sad time when the cover art was something much more boring. I'm tempted to buy a new copy just to get the new artwork--and besides, my pages are all dog-eared from reading it! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Now onto the free eBooks! No dog-eared pages here. First up is the short story collection, Only Love Can Break Your Heart (approx. 11700  words), by Fred Bubbers.

Three stories about two neighbors who meet as young children and grow up together on Long Island during the late 60′s and early 70′s. The comforting and loving world they live in changes around them as their families fracture, society descends into chaos, and a war rages on. In the aftermath, they left on a wrecked, smoking landscape, searching for a new way to live when all of the signs have been burned down.

NOTE: This book contains content that may not be suitable for young readers 17 and under.

To get this book free, use coupon code HR22Z at check out.
(Coupon valid August 12-13, 2011)

Next is the long short Trial by Fire (approx. 8920 words) by Sara Harricharan.

Shatila is a Twilight Knight up for promotion to Twilight Titan. The only thing left to do is make peace with her inner self and prepare for the ceremony. Until Master Dugene interrupts her meditations with one final assignment--an escort mission for a Duke. Can this frustrated knight handle one final assignment? Book one in the Twilight Knights series.

To get this book free, use coupon code NA38M at checkout.
(Coupon valid through August 21, 2011)

Our last entry today is one that I hand-picked from the Smashwords best-seller catalog of free books. I have not read this book (nor any of the titles featured in my Freebie Friday posts, generally) but I chose it because the description intrigued me, the book's been highly rated and the author has multiple titles available. 

Check out this contemporary romance, Suddenly a Spy (approx. 63233 words) by Heather Huffman.

Technical writer Veronica Talbot has a plan: marry prince charming, get a white picket fence and have 2.7 children. She’s found her prince charming, but the rest of the plan goes awry when a siren from his past crashes their wedding reception. Their young marriage is tested when it comes to light that Rick had a previous life—one of espionage and intrigue that he’d neglected to mention.

This book is currently priced as FREE so you do not need a coupon code at all, but since I haven't contacted the author, no guarantees this book will remain free. Download and read your copy this weekend to be sure you don't miss it!

Next week, instead of taking submissions, I'm going to try something different. Fellow Smasher and friend, Danny Gillan, has just had his rights revert on his first novel Will you Love Me Tomorrow. He's reissued the book with a few edits and a smashing new cover by artiste extraordinaire Jane Dixon-Smith. In celebration of the reissue, I offered to feature Danny and his marvelous books in a feature all his own. The regular Freebie Friday feature will return, as regularly scheduled, on Friday, August 26, 2011.

Tomorrow I'll be back with a Saturday Surprise. I have no idea what it'll be yet so I can be surprised along with you! See you then! Thanks for stopping by.

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