Robert’s Roundup #5 of Smashwords Ebook Deals (Post Christmas edition)


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In the interest of covering this sale quickly (before it ends), my descriptions will be skimpier than usual though this time I’ll include more hyperlinks.

Before diving in, I want to mention a Robert’s Roundup (Smashwords edition) from last week has several titles which is still on sale.

This is a work in progress. I’m posting this on Thursday Dec 27, but all these free/discounted prices last until 11:59 Dec 31. I’ll be adding more over the next few days. I realize that some freebie hunters may not be interested in spending a lot of money, but just before publishing, I stumbled upon the 50+ discounted literary titles by Fomite press. All of these titles look attractive — and after you click to the book page, you will generally see coupon codes which discount the title to $1.25-$1.50. Don’t miss out!

Favorite SW Ebooks of the Month 

  • Germanicus by N.P. van Wyk Louw. Translated, with introduction by Joe-Marie Claasen. FREE! Classics scholar Joe-Marie Claasen translates a 1956 play by Afrikaans poet N.P. Van Wyk Louw. The subject matter comes from the Annales of Tacitus, and Louw gives it a contemporary relevance; the play has been acclaimed in Africa. Claasan wrote a penetrating introduction (She’s published academic studies of Ovid and Cicero). I would expect the translation to be equally enthralling. Here’s an interview with the translator.
  • FREE! All Literary Works of philosophical Bulgarian author Danilo Peshikan, a writer and computer programmer who lived in a variety of countries (France, Zimbabwe and finally Australia, where he died in 2014 at the age of 60). His last controversial work Filiad is about a strange relationship between a middle-aged academic who hates children and his 11 year old daughter (it was finished shortly before he died). The author described it as a “Sisyphean attempt at love confession that cannot be, a linguistic impossibility that corresponds with the two protagonists’ living a classical paradox: “because he [she] is mine he [she] is not mine” (apud Ovidium hoc legimus). This is a story of lust, jealousy, premonition of loss, loathing and what Rimbaud calls a “systematic derangement” of all the senses, piled on top of one another and masquerading as a novel, transcendent passion.”  Peshikan has published two story collections: Shadows of Invisible Dogs and Stranger . Peshikan’s native language was Bulgarian, but he was fluent also in English; according to the author’s website,  one reviewer said of Peshikan, “As a writer, he had an extraordinary artistic personality revealed in his text; as a programmer, he was a part of the science and technology intelligentsia, which until recently had at least remained a virtually independent group, least prone to compromises… In his works, we see Danilo Peshikan as a citizen of the world; we see him projected in his wandering across parallels and meridians, free of the mental traumas and complexity of his life here. He does not delve into the melancholic tangle of homesickness but engages directly into cosmopolitan spiritual communication with enviable self-esteem.”

Giveaways /Free Promotions

Paul Hina: In my first SW roundup I raved about the prose and poetry of this Ohio author. For the holiday season all of his ebooks are priced at FREE — which is great. Grab them while you can! Also, from my first roundup, New Old World by C. D. Stowell is free again (normally 4.99). I called it a “200,000 word semi-autographical novel about a 39 year Oregon photographer reflecting on her life as she travels to various places (and continents)”. 

Trouble Found Me: Eleven Tales of Life by Christopher Sewell.

Brief History of Pink Floyd by Andrew Means.

Sex, Lies and Crazy People by John Hickman. FREE! Memoir about his family’s involvement with a hotel — like a true version of Fawlty Towers. His two other volumes are continuations of these comic memoirs and Reluctant Hero is a humorous,poignant memory about Hickman’s father’s experience as a pilot during WW2. All FREE!

Barry Rachin: Several volumes of short stories (all free normally). Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4 and Vol 5

Sabina Quartet: Stories from Italy By G. D. Spilsbury. She co-founded Bergamot Books.

Jessica Barksdale Inclán‘s. All her titles are priced FREE! for this special. (Author website). Inclan lives in California and writes lots of stuff (be sure to check the stuff on Amazon which didn’t make it to SW). I’ve noticed that a number of her titles go free on Amazon as well.

Don Q. Public by John Opsand Sutherland (FREE!) has a great lead: “If Don Quixote lived in modern America (in Toledo, Ohio, instead of Toledo, Spain), it would not be chivalry novels sending him out to be a questing knight. Today’s Don Q. would grow his garden of delusions out of superhero comic books. ” We need more books like this around! (Author’s website)

Gregory M. Fox has written two volumes of flash fiction which are FREE!: Breath of Fiction and Watch.He writes one 200 word story every week which he posts on his blog. The volumes gather these stories. (Author website).

Charles Rocha — is a US born ESL teacher in Ukraine who has published a a lot. Free stuff includes Skinny One (experimental poetry), A Very Long Night and Very Long Nights are collections of surreal short stories and litcrit. Some nonfree stuff also available.

War in a Beautiful Country by Patricia Ryan. FREE! Contemplative mystery novel by poet/playwright/author.

Drums by Brad Henderson is FREE ebook version of a light-hearted 90s novel about a drummer who decides to play with a garage rock band instead of going to college. The author teaches technical writing at a university in California, but also has published several other volumes (not on SW). Here’s his author website.

Jaleta Clegg writes strange/fantasy stories and one sci fi series (Author Website). Newly discounted titles include: Llama tell you a story, Brain Candy, Soul Windows, Dark Dancer Currently her Fall of the Altairan Empire series is completely free.

I notice that volume 1 of the Simon Adventure series by Austin author Scott Semegran is free. (I’m running an ad for the full boxed set priced at $4.99). One critic describes it as “a  funny picaresque novel features the insight-challenged Simon Burchwood, off on a quest for fame and fortune as a great writer, making his journey from Texas to a reading of his début novel at the flagship Barnes and Noble store in New York City by way of Montgomery AL, where his boyhood friend Jason signs on as his Sancho Panza. ”

Word of Shawn by Jordan M. Ehrlich is a novel about a lonely kid who develops a computer game that becomes more immersive than he could have imagined.

Mary Poser by Angel A. (cross-cultural romance).

Jon Chaisson has been publishing a book a year recently. (here’s his music/writing blog). Several titles are FREE! Meet the Lidwells! is about a musical family who hits the big time. The other 3 titles take place in a fantasy universe called Mendaihu Universe.

Patrick Whittakker is a British fantasy writer and filmmaker who has published a variety of free and low cost titles (including a FREE! translation of Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu). Many of his writings have sci fi/horror elements like the FREE Sybernetika. See also his FREE! story collection Dead Astronauts. He has published several low-cost titles worth exploring (here’s the author’s website).

John Francis Kinsella is a UK prolific novelist who has lived in France since the 1970s. (Author’s blog). Over the decades he has published 12 novels and anthology of Chinese literature. Most of the novels touch upon political, business and social themes and involve different country settings ranging from UK to Middle East to Borneo. The Turning Point is book 1 of a trilogy, so is probably a good place to start.

Ernest Slyman. Bristol Stories. and Sweetheart.

Discounted Titles

Delivering Virtue: A Dark Comedy Adventure of the West, Didier Rain Epic Book 1 By Brian Kindall $1.25 Also Pearl for 1.00 (I loved the sample I read on Amazon and am delighted to see it discounted for the SW sale). This was the first title I snatched!

I have noticed that Fomite has a lot of literary titles & poetry which when discounted are about $1.25 or $1.50. (Click here to read the reviews on Amazon — notice that all the titles are priced on Amazon at $4-5). Note: For almost all these titles, there are only epub versions of these files available.

Free political essays from Fomite. I’m going to suspend my rule about overlooking shorter ebooks to mention that Fomite offers about a dozen FREE 1-essay-per-ebook “political pamphlets” on controversial subjects: Marx, Trump, masculinity, death penalty, waste, reality simulations, that sort of thing. Eventually these things will be compiled somewhere, but they might be worth grabbing if you’re interested.

Chalk Pits & Cherry Stones by Jean Hendy-Harris. See Part 2 and Part 3Note: these are a dollar each.

Jazz Room & Other Stories by Dimitris Aspergis. Also Gerard & the Father: a novel.  and At the Whiskey County: Novel. All 3 are 1.50, which is half the normal price on SW and Amazon. (Update: I ended up skipping this purchase, but the Gerard & the Father did seem worth buying!).

Louis Greenberg is a S. African author who has published two novels discounted to $1.50: Beggars’ Signwriters and Dark Windows.Both novels have gotten around: respectable reviews and Beggars’ was shortlisted for two prizes.

Also from my original roundup, I noticed three excellent works of literary fiction being discounted for this promotion (some with ads on my sidebar: Eye of a Needle: And Other Stories By Cornelia Flick (half-priced, now $1.75),  Fine Print and Other Yarns by Dinesh Verma (half-priced, now $1.50) and White Mythology by W.D. Greene (75% off, now only $1). Also from a previous roundup, Hauling Checks is on sale for $1.24.

Personville Press Giveaways & Deals

I run a small literary book press called Personville Press where most ebooks sell for under $4.  For each SW Roundup column, I’ll include a few 100% giveaways and coupon codes. Generally the 100% giveaways coupons will be very limited in number (rarely more than 5), but the 99 cent discount giveaways will be unlimited.  Up until 2018, all Personville titles are by author Jack Matthews, but 2019 should see some different authors as well. 

  • Interview with the Sphinx. By Jack Matthews.  (FREE until 1/16/2019, no coupon code required) Hyperintellectual Tom Stoppard-like play which reads like a novel about a strange interview  with the ancient Sphinx character. Freud and Florence Nightingale show up too.   I loved this play and even produced an audio version of it (3.99 on cdbaby and itunes), but the script  reads well too.
  • Soldier Boys: Tales of the Civil War by Jack Matthews. Philosophical Stories Taking place during the US Civil War.  (FREE coupon — use code: KD45Y.  maximum: 2 uses).   Use CN39R Coupon to buy for $0.99 (expires Jan 16 2019)
  • Abruptions: 3 Minute Stories to Awaken the Mind by Jack Matthews. Flash Fiction.  (FREE coupon — use code: LQ42XK.  maximum: 2 uses).   Use KL39SC Coupon to buy for $0.99 (expires Jan 16 2019)
  • Three Times Time Story Sampler by Jack Matthews (Always Free!) , You can download these files directly without having to register: EpubMobi.

Finally …

If you know of any Smashwords deals you’d like to share, drop me a line. I know I have missed a ton of stuff. I generally try to do one roundup column — and one Smashwords roundup a month…. I must say, I’ll be taking a reading vacation — I have a lot of books to catch up with!

S. African play by well-known 20th century poet and dramatist



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