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 (usually 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 one of my most anticipated releases of next year and a debut science fiction novel that sounds quite interesting, but first, some brief updates:

On to recent books!

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster, the first book in a new quartet set in the same world as the Seven Realms series, will be released on April 5, 2016 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

I am so incredibly excited about this book since I loved the Seven Realms books (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown). The first book was slow to start, but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Han and Raisa were both memorable characters, and though all the books were great, the last book was especially wonderful. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens years after it ended!


The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

The Cold Between (Central Corps #1) by Elizabeth Bonesteel

This debut science fiction novel will be released on March 8, 2016 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). I hadn’t heard of it before it showed up in the mail, but now I’m quite interested in reading it—it sounds fantastic!


Deep in the stars, a young officer and her lover are plunged into a murder mystery and a deadly conspiracy in this first entry in a stellar military science-fiction series in the tradition of Lois McMaster Bujold.

When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.

The Shannara Chronicles: The Elfstones of Shannara (TV Tie-in Edition)

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles #1) by Terry Brooks

The Shannara Chronicles television show is coming to MTV on January 5, 2016. Since the first season is based on The Elfstones of Shannara, paperback TV tie-in editions of The Shannara Chronicles will be released on December 1. The Elfstones of Shannara will be available in both trade paperback and mass market paperback, and The Wishsong of Shannara will be available in trade paperback.


Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to the save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.