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.

I didn’t buy anything this week, but a few books showed up in the mail.

For reviews, I really hoping to get one up last week, but I seem to have a case of reviewer’s block. A couple of nights I came home from work and tried to work on reviews, but it just wasn’t working – even if I knew what I wanted to say, I just couldn’t get it written out. Unfortunately, sometimes that just happens, especially if I don’t have time to write much over the weekend and try to write after work when I’m usually pretty exhausted. I’ll try again this week – both the books I have up to review next are ones I loved so I am excited to talk about them!

On to this week’s books.

Dying of the Light by George R. R. Martin

Dying of the Light by George R. R. Martin

This is one of several of George R. R. Martin’s older books that were recently re-released as trade paperbacks (I’d imagine due to the success of A Song of Ice and Fire). This space opera, written in the late 1970s, was a Hugo nominee.

Dying of the Light can also be found in ebook and audiobook, and an excerpt from the novel is available. I’m really excited to read this one, both because it sounds really intriguing and because it will be interesting to read science fiction by George R. R. Martin (I’ve not read any of his work not related to A Song of Ice and Fire).

In this unforgettable space opera, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin presents a chilling vision of eternal night—a volatile world where cultures clash, codes of honor do not exist, and the hunter and the hunted are often interchangeable.
A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Dirk imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight. Gwen needs Dirk’s protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it’s becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies. In this dangerous triangle, one is hurtling toward escape, another toward revenge, and the last toward a brutal, untimely demise.

Windhaven by George R. R. Martin

Windhaven by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle

This is another one of the recently re-released trade paperback editions of George R. R. Martin’s older titles (co-written with Lisa Tuttle). Windhaven is also available in ebook and audiobook, and an excerpt can be read online.

I’d heard of this one before but wasn’t really familiar with what it was about. Even if the theme of a struggle against an unfair system is common, it’s one I rather like and I’m curious about this one now.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and acclaimed author Lisa Tuttle comes a timeless tale that brilliantly renders the struggle between the ironbound world of tradition and a rebellious soul seeking to prove the power of a dream.
Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. But even after winning that bitter battle, Maris finds that her troubles are only beginning. Now a revolution threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join—and force her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The Armageddon Rag by George R. R. Martin

The Armageddon Rag by George R. R. Martin

You guessed it – yet another novel recently released in trade paperback! The Armageddon Rag is also available in ebook format and an excerpt can be read online.

The Armageddon Rag sounds like fun and is another one I’m rather excited to read.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin comes the ultimate novel of revolution, rock ’n’ roll, and apocalyptic murder—a stunning work of fiction that portrays not just the end of an era, but the end of the world as we know it.
Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has come a long way from his radical roots in the ’60s—until something unexpectedly draws him back: the bizarre and brutal murder of a rock promoter who made millions with a band called the Nazgûl. Now, as Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself drawn back into his own past—a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the Nazgûl and the mad new rhythm may be more than anyone bargained for—a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death, whose apocalyptic tune only Sandy may be able to change in time . . . before everyone follows the beat.

Dreamsongs: Volume I by George R. R. Martin

Dreamsongs: Volume I by George R. R. Martin

This collection of shorter fiction by George R. R. Martin was recently released in trade paperback. You may also be able to find it in hardcover in some stores, and it is also available as an ebook and audiobook. An excerpt from Dreamsongs: Volume I is available.

Dreamsongs is so massive it’s split into two massive volumes (approximately 700 pages each in the trade paperback versions). The first volume starts with an introduction by Gardner Dozois, who often edits anthologies with Martin. The book is split into sections that are introduced with some commentary by Martin. This includes stories such as “A Song for Lya,” for which Martin won his first Hugo Award, and “Sandkings,” a story that won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

Even before A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin had already established himself as a giant in the field of fantasy literature. The first of two stunning collections, Dreamsongs: Volume I is a rare treat for readers, offering fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.
Gathered here in Dreamsongs: Volume I are the very best of George R. R. Martin’s early works, including his Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker award–winning stories, cool fan pieces, and the original novella The Ice Dragon, from which Martin’s New York Times bestselling children’s book of the same title originated. A dazzling array of subjects and styles that features extensive author commentary, Dreamsongs, Volume I is the perfect collection for both Martin devotees and a new generation of fans.

Dreamsongs: Volume II by George R. R. Martin

Dreamsongs: Volume II by George R. R. Martin

This second half of Dreamsongs was also recently released in trade paperback. Some stores may have it in hardcover, and it is also available in ebook and audiobook formats. An excerpt is available.

This volume includes a couple of screenplays, The Hedge Knight (the first of the novellas set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire), and the World Fantasy Award winning story “The Skin Trade.” Like the first volume, it includes commentary by the author.

Even before the enormous success of A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin had secured his reputation as one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. The second of two thrilling collections, Dreamsongs: Volume II continues the story of his amazing journey from a young writer to a #1 New York Times bestselling force of nature.
Whether writing about werewolves, wizards, or outer space, George R. R. Martin is renowned for his versatility and expansive talent, as demonstrated in this dazzling collection. Dreamsongs: Volume II contains acclaimed stories such as the World Fantasy Award winner “The Skin Trade,” as well as the first novella in the Ice and Fire universe, The Hedge Knight—plus two early screenplays. Featuring extensive author commentary, Dreamsongs: Volume II is an invaluable chronicle of a writer at the height of his creativity—and an unforgettable reading experience for fans old and new.

Guardians of Stone by Anita Clenney

Guardians of Stone (The Relic Seekers #1) by Anita Clenney

This paranormal romance will be released in paperback, ebook, and audiobook on December 4. It’s supposedly “Indiana Jones ~meets~ Stephanie Plum.” An excerpt can be found on the Mysteries and Margaritas blog.

There is currently a giveaway on Goodreads for a copy of Guardians of Stone. It’s open to those in the US, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain through November 17.

Kendall Morgan is a human bloodhound. Spending her childhood hunting relics with her ambitious archeologist father, she knew the two of them shared a sixth sense for the history and location of objects—sometimes even people. What she didn’t know was that their paranormal gift could ultimately be their undoing.

After the tragic plane crash that killed her father as well as her childhood best friend, Kendall dedicated her life to finding and protecting relics. When mysterious, sexy billionaire Nathan Larraby hires her for his latest expedition—the search for four powerful relics —she’s thrown into a world of high-octane danger. He sends brooding mercenary Jake Stone to watch Kendall’s back, but he may have created danger of a different kind.

As the team chases down clues, a man called the Reaper makes a play for the artifacts and will stop at nothing to put them to his own sinister use. What’s worse is that Nathan hasn’t told the whole story, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could cost them the mission…and their lives.

Slated by Teri Terry

Slated (Slated #1) by Teri Terry

This young adult dystopia will be released in hardcover and ebook in the US and Canada in January 2013. The first two chapters can be read here.

It’s the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Fractured, will be available in May 2013 in the UK and Australia, and it should also be out later in 2013 in the US and Canada. For more information, here’s an interview with the author that discusses the series and release dates.

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Rise by Andrea Cremer

Rise (Nightshade Prequel #2) by Andrea Cremer

This second book in the prequel series to the Nightshade series is a direct sequel to Rift. It will be released in hardcover and ebook on January 8. The first two chapters from Rise can be read here.

The sequel to Rift and the prequel to the New York Times bestselling novel Nightshade.

Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the  couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.

Richly sensual and full of magic, action and danger, Andrea Cremer’s fifth book set in the Nightshade world is an edge-of-your-seat page turner.