The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound like they may be interesting—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (the latter of which are mainly unsolicited books from publishers). 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, along with series information and the publisher’s book description. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last week I was sent two ebooks to add to the TBR, but first, here are the latest posts in case you missed either of them:

On to the latest books, both of which sound fantastic!

Omake by Karin Lowachee - Cover Image

Omake: Stories from the Warchild Universe by Karin Lowachee

Omake: Stories from the Warchild Universe just came out in ebook last week. It also contains an excerpt from the upcoming fourth Warchild novel, Matryoshka, which is about Cagebird protagonist Yuri’s younger brother.

I absolutely love the character-focused science fiction books of the Warchild universe—Warchild, Burndive, and Cagebird—and am beyond excited about both this collection and Matryoshka. (Content Warning: These books deal with themes related to trauma and the effects of war on young people, and they include violence and child abuse/pedophilia.)


In the first collection of original stories based in the universe of the award winning novels WARCHILD, BURNDIVE, and CAGEBIRD, characters both familiar and new flesh out the worlds and lives impacted by a generational interstellar war. Included are the author’s story notes, a glossary of the striviirc-na language, and the first chapter of the fourth novel in the universe, MATRYOSHKA.

Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell - Cover Image

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Winter’s Orbit, a new version of Everina Maxwell’s debut novel that was originally published online under the title The Course of Honour, will be released on February 2, 2021 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).’s announcement has a little more information with quotes from Everina Maxwell and editor Ali Fisher.


Ancillary Justice meets Red, White & Royal Blue in Winter’s Orbit, Everina Maxwell’s gut-wrenching and romantic debut.

A famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, Prince Kiem is summoned before the Emperor and commanded to renew the empire’s bonds with its newest vassal planet. The prince must marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire.

But Jainan suspects his late husband’s death was no accident. And Prince Kiem discovers Jainan is a suspect himself. But broken bonds between the Empire and its vassal planets leaves the entire empire vulnerable, so together they must prove that their union is strong while uncovering a possible conspiracy.

Their successful marriage will align conflicting worlds.

Their failure will be the end of the empire.