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Beneath a Buried House (Detective Elliot Mystery Book 2), by Bob Avey. (Still free?)

"Who doesn't love a well-written detective story? This book starts with the icons: the socially-challenged but instinctive cop, his gruff captain, his out-of-his-league girlfriend, and the office sludge they call coffee. From there Avey spins an ever-thickening tale of murder and mayhem. There are plenty of twists and turns, misdirection and dead-ends. Thankfully Avey does not resort to a deus ex machina where all the bad guys turn out to be aliens or vampires. There is a real criminal mastermind who floors everybody at the end." -- Amazon reviewer

Things aren't always what they seem. Tulsa Police Detective, Kenny Elliot's quest to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient makes him a target - from whom or what he isn't sure. When he brushes the dirt from the surface of an apparent John Doe overdose case, he finds a labyrinth of misdirection and deception beneath, and a trail, which leads him to an encounter with an aberration in human nature, the likes of which he's not prepared to deal with.

Drawing on his strength of character, and sense of right and wrong, he wrestles with deep personal feelings to solve the case.

226 pages, with a 3.9-star rating from 49 reviews.

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Copperhead Road, by Roger Canaff. (Still 0.99?)

"The story is framed as a coming of age, gang of childhood friends piece, but the heart of the story is in the abuse that several boys endure and how they each deal with it. The details of the abuse are handled deftly by the author - I was able to feel the horror without getting disgusted at what I was reading. Towards the end I was cheering for a different outcome sitting in my armchair, but the characters acted exactly as they had to given their personalities and backgrounds. The subject material and how it is presented by the narrator also provides a bit of an education on the mindset of abusers and their victims for sheltered readers like me." -- Amazon reviewer

*2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter-Finalist*

At seventeen, John Ray had silently survived years of childhood molestation at the hands of a respected coach and mentor in his hometown. That should have been enough. But as younger boys start disappearing, found raped and murdered in the same woods where he was once victimized, he must confront not only his own past but an interwoven set of characters, some evil, some desperate and some both, who share his memories in one way or another.

On the edge of manhood, it is five years since John escaped his own child abuse, although the abuser, Jim Kelly, remains a family friend and a well-liked pillar of the community. But Kelly has left him alone for years, and John assumes he's safe at last.

He's beginning his last year of high school, the memory buried under the typical pangs of adolescence, cigarettes, swiped liquor, and the warmth of his friends- boys who, at least for now, know nothing of what he suffered. Whatever the lingering effects, he bears them alone.

There is only one other boy he knows who was also molested by the same serial predator- and they are enemies by clique affiliation and never speak. For John, the nightmare seems over. He will soon discover how wrong he is.

As the hunt for the first missing child intensifies, a new student appears who focuses on John and the other victim, Vinnie, in a subtle but unmistakable way that gnaws at them. The new student, Lon, a loner and rebellious outsider, gradually reveals to both John and Vinnie what he knows about their past, and through a series of demands for confession and atonement, seeks to punish them for how he believes they failed to act in response to their victimization. He'll punish the town as well for its complicity in what "Big Jim" did to so many for so long. If they don't cooperate, they'll be exposed, and far worse.

As summer dies, the first boy is found in a shallow grave. More will follow; the town has a serial child killer in its midst.

John struggles to determine who Lon is and what he really wants, but he cannot turn to Vinnie, and opening himself up to his friends is yet unthinkable. In fact, his closest childhood friend might bear innocent responsibility for the abuse he suffered.

As fall and winter progress, Lon weaves a tighter and tighter noose around John and Vinnie, forcing them to commit acts of revenge against town leaders who may have been complicit in Kelly's acts. But it's not just Lon who John is trying desperately to outfox or at least outlive- it's an entire group now, each with secrets to hide at any cost, and a child murderer still unknown. And still busy.

What John must do, whom he must open up to at long last, and which corpses he must unearth, both literally and figuratively, in order to stop the madness around him is what drives this intense story to its heart-pounding conclusion.

In addition to its pace and rich character development, Copperhead Road features an eerie and remarkable sense of place; its setting is the Northern Virginia suburbs of the mid 1980's, pre-cell phone and pre-Internet, and will carry any reader back to a simpler but sometimes darker recent past. Please don't forget to check the "Look Inside" feature for more detail as well.

Author's note:
I am a former special victims prosecutor and myself a victim of chronic child sexual abuse. There are touches of my personal story in this book, but more an amalgamation of the thousands of stories I came face to face with while prosecuting and eventually consulting on child abuse cases worldwide. I remain in awe of every child who had the courage to work with my teams on the investigation and prosecution of the horror they endured. This book was written for all of them. And for every boy and girl still silent, helpless, and alone.

333 pages, with a 4.8-star rating from 60 reviews.

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Anstractor: Vestalia (The New Phase Book 1), by Greg Dragon. (Still 0.99?)

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"James Bond in space! My sci-fi background is heavily in Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card. I did however like the Phule's Company series by Robert Asprin so I tried Anstractor: Vestalia with that in mind. Very entertaining and full of action, sex and enjoyable characters. The main hero was like-able but mysterious enough to keep his impressive soldier/spy demeanor captivating- not too far off from an exotic, pulpy James Bond. I definitely see a lot of potential for follow-ups, focusing on many of the under-used interesting characters. Looking forward to more in the Anstractor series." -- Amazon reviewer

From orphan, to soldier, to the galaxy's only hope...

Rafian VCA is a gifted soldier in the planetary alliance but his life becomes complicated when he joins an elite group of spies known simply as the jumpers. Although his military career is beyond impressive, and his superiority on the battlefield is legendary, the jumpers force Rafian into a reality that makes everything he had accomplished prior to them seem menial. Rafian's true destiny is to save the galaxy of Anstractor--starting with the human planet of Vestalia. It is a charge that will take him across multiple planets, multiple galaxies, and multiple realities. He must save the galaxy but he cannot do it alone.

For years the refugees of Vestalia waited for a hero...

This is the book one in "The New Phase" series that details the rise of Rafian VCA. Anstractor is a story filled with action, love, romance, unique technology, world building, a multicultural cast, and of course, alien invasion...
317 pages, with a 4.0-star rating from 13 reviews.

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Forever Ours (Shattered Hearts Book 1), by Cassia Leo. (Still free?)

"Loved it! Have you ever read a book/series that just touched you so much that it stayed on your mind? Well, that's what Cassia Leo has done to me! Forever Ours brought me back to all the feelings I had reading the Shattered Hearts series. You get to see the blooming of Chris and Claire's relationship. I cried like a baby reading this book even knowing what is in store for everyone. Reading Forever Ours makes me want to read the entire series all over again. It is just that good!" -- Amazon reviewer

Forever Ours is the highly anticipated prequel to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shattered Hearts Series.

Sometimes, it takes more than love to mend a shattered heart.

After eight years of being tossed around from one home to another, never forming any meaningful friendships or bonds with her foster families, Claire's caseworker gives her an ultimatum: Behave or your next home will be a halfway house.

When fifteen-year-old Claire arrives at the home of Jackie Knight and meets Jackie's fifteen-year-old son, tattooed guitarist Chris, she fears she'll be seeing the inside of that halfway house soon. But Chris isn't like any other guy Claire has ever encountered and he soon gains her trust through his music and unwavering patience.

Claire has finally found her forever home and she and Chris soon find themselves falling in love.

But Chris's dreams of musical stardom and Claire's need for a stable home soon put their love in jeopardy. Chris struggles deeply with his plans for the future, entirely reluctant to leave Claire behind; until Claire does something that may break their love - and the only home she's comes to know - forever.

210 pages, with a 4.9-star rating from 144 reviews.

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