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 brought four finished copies, two of which I already covered when they came as ARCs (and one of which is on my want-to-read soon stack, which I wish I could get through faster!). As usual, I’m not going to display the cover and description of the books I already featured, but I will list each with a link to the original post in case you’re curious about either of them. Also, I’ll mention the release date in case they’re books you’ve been waiting for! They are:

On to the new books!

The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf by Tia Nevitt

The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf (Accidental Enchantments #2) by Tia Nevitt

I am delighted that Tia Nevitt, who used to run Fantasy Debut and now keeps a blog with reviews and writing discussions on her website, has a new book coming out! The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf will be available in ebook format on February 18. Even though it is the second Accidental Enchantments book, it is a stand alone story. The first book, The Sevenfold Spell, is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Of course, this one is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I have much fondness for retold fairy tales so I’m quite interested in reading this one!


Book two in Accidental Enchantments.

Prince Richard is cursed. Enslaved to a magic mirror, he must truthfully answer the evil queen when she uses it to call on him. To keep from betraying innocents, Richard wanders the countryside and avoids people.

All her life, Gretchen has been teased for being small. When she hears of a hidden farm populated by little people like her, she sets out to find it—and is welcomed by the mostly male inhabitants. Lars in particular woos her with his gentle kindness and quiet strength.

Danger looms when Gretchen meets a runaway princess and offers her shelter at the Little Farm. Wandering nearby, Richard instantly falls in love with the beautiful princess, and is later compelled to tell the queen that she is not the fairest of them all. Enraged, the queen vows to find them and destroy them.

If either Gretchen or Richard are to have their happy endings, they must team up to break the mirror’s spell before the queen kills them all…

For another fairy tale retelling from Tia Nevitt, check out The Sevenfold Spell, available now!

The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello

The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello

The Romanov Cross will be released in hardcover and ebook on March 5, 2013. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

Thrillers aren’t my usual reading fare, but I am a bit intrigued by this one since it has a supernatural twist and ties in with the history of Rasputin.


Nearly one hundred years ago, a desperate young woman crawled ashore on a desolate arctic island, carrying a terrible secret and a mysterious, emerald-encrusted cross. A century later, acts of man, nature, and history converge on that same forbidding shore with a power sufficient to shatter civilization as we know it.

Army epidemiologist Frank Slater is facing a court-martial, but after his punishment is mysteriously lifted, Slater is offered a job no one else wants—to travel to a small island off the coast of Alaska and investigate a potentially lethal phenomenon: The permafrost has begun to melt, exposing bodies from a colony that was wiped out by the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918. Frank must determine if the thawed remains still carry the deadly virus in their frozen flesh and, if so, ensure that it doesn’t come back to life.

Frank and his handpicked team arrive by helicopter, loaded down with high-tech tools, prepared to exhume history. The colony, it transpires, was once settled by a sect devoted to the mad Russian monk Rasputin, but there is even more hiding in the past than Frank’s team is aware of. Any hope of success hinges on their willingness to accept the fact that even their cutting-edge science has its limits—and that the ancient wisdom of the Inuit people who once inhabited this eerie land is as essential as any serum. By the time Frank discovers that his mission has been compromised—crashed by a gang of reckless treasure hunters—he will be in a brutal race against time. With a young, strong-willed Inuit woman by his side, Frank must put a deadly genie back in the bottle before all of humanity pays the price.

The Romanov Cross is at once an alternate take on one of history’s most profound mysteries, a love story as unlikely as it is inevitable, and a thriller of heart-stopping, supernatural suspense. With his signature blend of fascinating history and fantastic imagination, critically acclaimed author Robert Masello has once again crafted a terrifying story of past events coming back to haunt the present day . . . and of dark deeds aching to be unearthed.