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.

Last week there were no books to discuss, but this week was a VERY good week for books! First of all, I really want to read every single book that showed up in the mail this week. Second of all, I took Thursday and Friday off from work and had a great find at a bookstore on one of those days.

For reviews, I haven’t gotten much writing done with my mini-vacation, but my next reviews will be Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire and House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier. Both of these were wonderful. I just finished Ashes of Honor before starting this post and think it’s the best book in the October Daye series yet!

One of the books that came in this last week is the finished copy of a book I already talked about in a previous post so I’m not going to include all the info on it again in this one. If you are interested in reading about This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova, you can read about it here. It’s an urban fantasy debut that will be on sale on Tuesday.

Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

This stand alone science fiction novel will be on sale in hardcover and ebook on December 26 in the US. It will be released in the UK later this month (September 27).

I have heard that Peter F. Hamilton writes fantastic books so I’m really excited about this one. As a slow reader, I’m also a bit daunted by the length (my ARC is hardcover size and about 950 pages), but mostly I’m excited to read it!

New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.

Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.

Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.

The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring

The Grass King’s Concubine by Kari Sperring

I have been curious about both this book and Kari Sperring’s first novel, Living With Ghosts, for awhile now so I picked this one up when I came across it at the bookstore. It’s set in the same world as the first novel but takes place about 150 years later.

The Grass King’s Concubine was released in mass market paperback and ebook last month. There is a giveaway for 10 copies on Goodreads right now that is open to a lot of countries.

The only excerpt from The Grass King’s Concubine I could find is on Amazon.

Kari Sperring’s first novel was a finalist for the Crawford Award, a Tiptree Award Honor Book, a LOCUS Recommended First Novel, and the winner of the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. Now she returns to the same amazing and atmospheric world with an entirely new story set several hundred years after the earth-shaking events of Living With Ghosts.

When a wealthy young woman, obsessed with a childhood vision of a magical Shining Palace, sets out with her true love to search for a legendary land, she discovers the devastated WorldBelow – the realm of the Grass King – and the terrifying Cadre, who take her prisoner, and demand she either restore the king’s concubine… or replace her.

Clean by Alex Hughes

Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1) by Alex Hughes

This debut will be released in mass market paperback and ebook on September 4. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

I love reading about telepaths and think this sounds like fun so I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ll be reading it pretty soon since I’m participating in the blog tour for Clean later this month.

A RUTHLESS KILLER—OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars. My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary. Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game (Alpha and Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs

This is the great book find I had when I visited a bookstore a couple days ago! Patricia Briggs signed at a bookstore in my state as part of the book tour for Fair Game earlier this year. I didn’t go even though it’s pretty rare for an author to come to my state since it was still 2 – 3 hours away from me and the event was on a weeknight, plus I’m not nearly as big a fan of Alpha and Omega as Mercy Thompson (Alpha and Omega is a spinoff series related to the Mercy Thompson books). On Friday, I was in the same city and decided to check out the bookstore while I was there. While browsing I came across Fair Game. I wasn’t planning to buy it since I still haven’t read the second book in the series, but a sticker that said “Autographed Copy” caught my eye and I decided I just couldn’t pass up a book autographed by Patricia Briggs! I felt lucky to find it since there were only 2 copies on the shelves and the signing was months ago now. I’ve been hearing this particular installment in the series is amazing so I’m pretty excited about finding a signed copy.

Fair Game is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. The first story in the series is actually a novella titled “Alpha and Omega” that is available in an anthology, On the Prowl. The first novel is Cry Wolf and the second is Hunting Ground.

An excerpt from Fair Game is available on the publisher’s website.

Patricia Briggs, the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, “always enchants her readers.” (Lynn Viehl, “New York Times” bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey…

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar #1) by Tad Williams

The first book in a new urban fantasy series by Tad Williams will be released in hardcover and ebook on September 4. I was sent an ebook copy to take a look at. I don’t read a lot of ebooks since I prefer paper books and have a significant number of them around, but I am considering reading it after looking at it. It looks interesting, and I’m kind of ashamed to admit this as a fantasy fan, but I’ve never read a book by Tad Williams before. That’s definitely something that needs to be remedied at some point!

Bobby Dollar is an angel—a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own—pride, anger, even lust.

But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions. And he sure as hell doesn’t trust the achingly gorgeous Countess of Cold Hands, a mysterious she-demon who seems to be the only one willing to tell him the truth.

When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get—in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.

You’ve never met an angel like Bobby Dollar. And you’ve never read anything like The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Brace yourself—the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.