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 consideration. 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.

This week a finished copy and an e-ARC showed up, both of which I’m VERY excited about reading!

First, a quick review update since there haven’t been many reviews here lately. Due to running another Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Month this year, I haven’t had much time leftover for reading and reviewing in the spare time I have (i.e., time when I’m not working at my full time job). I’m hoping there will be a bit more time to get caught up on some reviews soon, but once April starts, there probably won’t be any new reviews until May. In the meantime, I have started a review of Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire, which just came out last week and is an awesome second installment in the InCryptid series. I’m hoping that review will be up soon, and I also have plans to review The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord as soon as time allows.

On to the books that came in this week!

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Sister Mine will be released in hardcover and ebook on March 12. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

I recently read a post praising Nalo Hopkinson’s work at Dark Cargo, and the discussion of her characterization made me really want to pick up one of her books. So having this one show up in the mail out of the blue really made my day! I’m excited to read it, and I’m hoping to read it later this month.


As the only one in the family without magic, Makeda has decided to move out on her own and make a life for herself among the claypicken humans. But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own power–and reconcile with her twin sister, Abby-if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .

We’d had to be cut free of our mother’s womb. She’d never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby’s head, torso and left arm protruded from my chest. But here’s the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn’t. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.


Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things–an unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby’s magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.

Today, Makeda has decided it’s high time to move out and make her own life among the other nonmagical, claypicken humans–after all, she’s one of them. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse, Makeda finds exactly what she’s been looking for: a place to get some space from Abby and begin building her own independent life. There’s even a resident band, led by the charismatic (and attractive) building superintendent.

But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own talent–and reconcile with Abby–if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .

Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

Cobweb Bride (Cobweb Bride Trilogy #1) by Vera Nazarian

The final version of Cobweb Bride is slated for release on July 15 of this year. I backed the Kickstarter for this book, so I’m pretty excited to see an ARC! It sounds pretty interesting, plus I really enjoyed Vera Nazarian’s novel Lords of Rainbow.

There will be a Goodreads giveaway for Cobweb Bride starting on May 3.


COBWEB BRIDE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.