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.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last one of these posts went up due to the holiday weekend so this post includes books from the last two weeks (other than one book I am saving for a later post because I’m waiting for a related book to show up!).

Before covering the latest books, here are the posts from the last couple of weeks in case you missed any of them:

And now, recent books in the mail!

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

Snowspelled (The Harwood Spellbook #1) by Stephanie Burgis

Snowspelled, a fantasy novella, will be released on September 4 (ebook, paperback). The recent cover reveal at The Book Smugglers includes Stephanie Burgis’ commentary on the cover and a giveaway of a print of the cover art (the giveaway ends in four days).

Stephanie Burgis described this as her “escape-/just-for-fun/comfort-writing project” on Goodreads, and it does indeed sound like fun!


In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules…

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks…and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.

A witty and sparkling romantic fantasy novella for adults that opens a brand-new series from the author of Kat, Incorrigible, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets.

Volume I of The Harwood Spellbook

Provenance by Ann Leckie

Provenance by Ann Leckie

Provenance, a standalone novel set in the same universe as Ann Leckie’s multiple-major-award-winning Imperial Radch trilogy, will be released on September 26 (hardcover, ebook).


Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with an enthralling new novel of power, theft, privilege and birthright.

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned.

Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray’s future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good.

Tomorrow's Kin by Nancy Kress

Tomorrow’s Kin (Yesterday’s Kin #1) by Nancy Kress

Tomorrow’s Kin, the first book in a new trilogy based/expanding on the Nebula Award–winning novella Yesterday’s Kin, will be available on July 11 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

The first third of the book is the novella Yesterday’s Kin, and if you haven’t read this yet, you can read chapter one on the Tor-Forge blog. has an excerpt that picks up right after Yesterday’s Kin ends, but of course, this will spoil the first part if you haven’t already read the novella!

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year since I thought Yesterday’s Kin (my review) was excellent, and I’ve already finished reading Tomorrow’s Kin—I couldn’t put it down!


Tomorrow’s Kin is the first volume in and all new hard science fiction trilogy by Nancy Kress based on the Nebula Award-winning Yesterday’s Kin.

The aliens have arrived… they’ve landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.

One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.

The truth is about to be revealed. Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster―and not everyone is willing to wait.

Additional Book(s):