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Free Fiction: Laurell K. Hamilton, Elizabeth Moon, Robert E. Howard

The Suvudu Free Library has three new books available for download.

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A Kiss of Shadows

Written by Laurell K. Hamilton

“My name is Meredith Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of the Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why.”

Meredith Gentry, Princess of the high court of Faerie, is posing as a human in Los Angeles, living as a P.I. specializing in supernatural crime. But now the Queen’s assassin has been dispatched to fetch her back-whether she likes it or not. Suddenly Meredith finds herself a pawn in her dreaded aunt’s plans. The job that awaits her: enjoy the constant company of the most beautiful immortal men in the world. The reward: the crown-and the opportunity to continue to live. The penalty for failure: death.

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Trading in Danger

Written by Elizabeth Moon

Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not commerce, that stirs her soul. And despite her family’s misgivings, there can be no doubt that a Vatta in the service will prove a valuable asset. But with a single error in judgment, it all comes crumbling down.

Expelled from the Academy in disgrace-and returning home to her humiliated family, a storm of high-profile media coverage, and the gaping void of her own future-Ky is ready to face the inevitable onslaught of anger, disappointment, even pity. But soon after opportunity’s door slams shut, Ky finds herself with a ticket to ride- and a shot at redemption-as captain of a Vatta Transport ship.

It’s a simple assignment: escorting one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage . . . to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to baby-sit the fledgling captain on her maiden milk run, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture-in the name of turning a profit for Vatta Transport, of course.

By snapping up a lucrative delivery contract defaulted on by a rival company, and using part of the proceeds to upgrade her condemned vehicle, Ky aims to prove she’s got more going for her than just her family’s famous name. But business will soon have to take a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny…

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The Best of Robert E. Howard, Volume 1: Crimson Shadows

Written by Robert E. Howard

Robert E. Howard is one of the most famous and influential pulp authors of the twentieth century. Though largely known as the man who invented the sword-and-sorcery genre-and for his iconic hero Conan the Cimmerian-Howard also wrote horror tales, desert adventures, detective yarns, epic poetry, and more. This spectacular volume, gorgeously illustrated by Jim and Ruth Keegan, includes some of his best and most popular works.

Inside, readers will discover (or rediscover) such gems as “The Shadow Kingdom,” featuring Kull of Atlantis and considered by many to be the first sword-and-sorcery story; “The Fightin’est Pair,” part of one of Howard’s most successful series, chronicling the travails of Steve Costigan, a merchant seaman with fists of steel and a head of wood; “The Grey God Passes,” a haunting tale about the passing of an age, told against the backdrop of Irish history and legend; “Worms of the Earth,” a brooding narrative featuring Bran Mak Morn, about which H. P. Lovecraft said, “Few readers will ever forget the hideous and compelling power of [this] macabre masterpiece”; a historical poem relating a momentous battle between Cimbri and the legions of Rome; and “Sharp’s Gun Serenade,” one of the last and funniest of the Breckinridge Elkins tales.

These thrilling, eerie, compelling, swashbuckling stories and poems have been restored to their original form, presented just as the author intended. There is little doubt that after more than seven decades the voice of Robert E. Howard continues to resonate with readers around the world.