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 (often unsolicited). 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 brought a couple of books, and I’ve begun working on a review of Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan that I am hoping to finish this week. Like the previous 3 books in the series, I really enjoyed it.

On to recent books in the mail!

The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin

The Sleeping King (Book #1) by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin

The Sleeping King, the first book in a new series based on the Dragon Crest game, will be released on September 8 (hardcover, ebook). An excerpt is available on the Tor/Forge Blog.

Cindy Dees is both an award-winning and bestselling author—she’s won the Golden Heart Award, 2 RITAs, and 2 RT Awards plus her work has been on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists—and she was also as the youngest woman to ever become a pilot in the Air Force!


The Sleeping King is the start of a new fantasy series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cindy Dees.

Dees has won a Golden Heart Award, two RITAs for Category Suspense and Adventure and has also twice snared RT’s Series Romantic Suspense of the Year. She is a great storyteller, and the adventures in her more than fifty novels are often inspired by her own life. Dees is an Air Force vet-the youngest female pilot in Air Force history-and fought in the first Gulf War. She’s had amazing adventures, and she’s used her experiences to tell some kickass stories.

But as much as she loves romances, Cindy’s other passion has been fantasy gaming. For almost twenty years she’s been involved with Dragon Crest, one of the original live action role-playing games. She’s the story content creator on the game, and wanted to do an epic fantasy based on it, with the blessing and input of Dragon Crest founder Bill Flippin.

The Sleeping King is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring the best of the genre: near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who’s said to be the savior of the races . . . and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.

Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches #2) by Cherie Priest

Chapelwood, which follows Maplecroft, will be released on September 1 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). An excerpt can be read on the publisher’s website (click “Read an Excerpt” below the cover image).

Cherie Priest’s novel Boneshaker was nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo and won the Locus Award.


From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…