The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

Sorry it’s been so quiet here lately. I had no Internet at home for a couple of days and I was sick for about a week and a half and only really started feeling normal again Friday. This weekend I’ve been working on a review of Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear so I’m hoping to (finally!) get that up sometime over this next week. Since I have 4 more books to write about after that, I’m reading a very long book while I try to get caught up!

This week brought 1 ARC and 2 review copies, and I also bought one book the week before that I didn’t end up writing about with being really sick last weekend.

House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier

House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier

Although its official release date is July 10th, this already seems to be available in some places. House of Shadows can be read as an ebook or trade paperback. The only excerpt I could find is the preview on Amazon.

While Rachel Neumeier has written some young adult fantasy, this one is not considered YA. It is a stand alone, although the author does say on her website that she has an idea for a sequel.

Right now, there is a chance for US residents to win a copy on Goodreads.

I have been interested in reading one of Rachel Neumeier’s books for a long time and I really like the sound of this one. Of course, that means when the author contacted me about participating in her blog tour, I eagerly accepted. You can expect a review of this one in August or September as part of the blog tour.

Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own fortunes.

Sweet and proper, Karah’s future seems secure at a glamorous Flower House. She could be pampered for the rest of her life… if she agrees to play their game.

Nemienne, neither sweet nor proper, has fewer choices. Left with no alternative, she accepts a mysterious mage’s offer of an apprenticeship. Agreeing means a home and survival, but can Nemienne trust the mage?

With the arrival of a foreign bard into the quiet city, dangerous secrets are unearthed, and both sisters find themselves at the center of a plot that threatens not only to upset their newly found lives, but also to destroy their kingdom.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I missed this one at BEA because N. K. Jemisin’s signing was at the same time, but I bought a copy. A science fiction retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion sounded pretty intriguing, and I have been hearing over and over again how good it is.

This young adult novel was recently released in hardcover and ebook. An excerpt from For Darkness Shows the Stars is available on the publisher’s website. A prequel entitled “Among the Nameless Stars” can be read online for free. It’s about Kai and takes place 4 years before the novel.

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, “For Darkness Shows the Stars” is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Fate by L. R. Fredericks

Fate by L. R. Fredericks

Fate will be released in the UK on July 5 in hardcover and ebook. The prologue and first chapter are on the author’s website.

I actually hadn’t heard of this book or author before it showed up the other day, but it sounds like it could be interesting. This is the second book in the Time and Light series following Farundell. Fate is supposed to stand alone and only be loosely related to the first book, though. Neither of these books appear to be available in the US.

FATE is the story of Lord Francis Damory’s quest for the elixir of immortality. Set against the magnificent background of the eighteenth century where science and magic, death and beauty meet in the gilded salons of the decadent nobility and the brothels and debtors’ prisons of London, Francis tells of his many love affairs and his deadly duels, his encounters with courtesans and castrati, alchemists and anatomists, Rosicrucians, visionaries, monsters, charlatans, spies and assassins. His travels take him through France, across the Alpine passes to Venice and the pirate-infested Mediterranean Sea to Egypt, Cyprus and distant, exotic Constantinople on the trail of his mysterious ancestor Tobias who might - just possibly - still be alive.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

This stand alone companion novel to Sisters Red and Sweetly will be released in September (hardcover and ebook). According to the press release I received with the book, it is “a dark, modern reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid.’” I love fairy tale retellings, especially if they keep the darkness from the original so I’m a bit curious about this young adult book. After reading the first couple of pages, I’m not sure if the writing style with so many sentence fragments will work for me. I should probably try to give it more of a chance than 2 pages, though!

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant — until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn’t know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea — a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid — all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she’s becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she’s tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude’s affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there’s only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.