Mailboxes, Shelves, and What I'm Reading

Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

With an eye towards my plans for the next few months, I'm still trying to hold off on adding too much to the TBR pile, but I did pick up a few new titles:

FaceOff edited by by David Baldacci
Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster

In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters—such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme—in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos (and more):

• Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast in “Gaslighted,” by R.L. Stine, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child
• Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper in “Surfing the Panther,” by Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein
• Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack in “Infernal Night,” by Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson
• Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber in “Pit Stop,” by Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay
• Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce in “The Devil’s Bones,” by Steve Berry and James Rollins
• Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller in “Good and Valuable Consideration,” by Lee Child and Joseph Finder

So sit back and prepare for a rollicking ride as your favorite characters go head-to-head with some worthy opponents in FaceOff—it’s a thrill-a-minute read.

Morningside Fall by Jay Posey
Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Angry Robot

The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

The Blood of Alexander by Tom Wilde
Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Forge Books

A modern Indiana Jones steals a relic of Alexander the Great in Blood of Alexander, the thrilling debut from Tom Wilde.

Jonathan Blake makes a living stealing antiquities—stealing them back, that is. A field agent for the Argo Foundation, a company that makes it their business to preserve humanity’s history by liberating stolen artifacts from thieves and looters, Blake is used to dangerous assignments. But when he is forced by the US government into a deadly mission involving a missing Napoleonic standard, he finds himself in over his head. Blake is pitted against Vanya, the head of a fanatical cult, who seeks a gilded bronze eagle that holds a vital clue to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.

From ancient ruins in Afghanistan to the catacombs of Paris to a chateau high in the French Alps, Blake must unravel the secret truth of the final fate of Napoleon Bonaparte, the murder of Percy Bysshe Shelly, and the hidden remains of Alexander. And he must do it before Vanya's apocalyptic plans for humanity come to their deadly fruition.

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Published January 7th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Canada

Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, specializing in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” David is hard-pressed to overcome his skepticism.

But there are forces at work beyond anything David can imagine, and they will stop at nothing to ensure that the professor does not escape their grasp. Against his better judgment, David, accompanied by his beloved daughter, Tess, finds himself traveling to Venice, where an unspeakable horror awaits.

Soon David is pulled into a journey that will redefine what he is willing to believe. Guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David races to save his daughter. If he fails, he will lose Tess forever.

Chasm by James Bruno
Published May 22nd 2012 by Bittersweet House Press

A top secret program to resettle war criminals in our communities, men guilty of the most horrendous crimes imaginable. An American diplomat who blugeoned his family to death, disappeared and remains free to this day. A massive White House cover-up. These really happened. Operation Paperclip, run by the CIA, gave us Nazi scientists and SS murderers. William Bradford Bishop massacred his mother, wife and three young sons in 1976 and has been on the lam ever since. CHASM is based on these true covert programs and evildoers. Don't read it before bedtime. You won't be able to sleep. Promise.

Peace in the Balkans is fragile. The White House's political fortunes hang on ensuring that shaky peace deals hold firm. In a top secret codicil, the U.S. agrees clandestinely to take in scores of Balkan war criminals. This super-secret program is Operation CHASM. CHASM gets out of hand as war criminals go on a rampage of arson and murder across the U.S. Mike Gallatin's young daughter is almost killed. Drawing on his detective skills, the Cleveland investigator finds out about CHASM -- but almost at the cost of his own life as the ruthless National Security Adviser, John Tulliver, orders Gallatin's "recall." Written by a former insider, CHASM is about Washington powerholders, who, in pursuit of their own ambitions, take actions which trample on the little guy. But one average citizen, a victim of their policies, embarks on a quest to expose the hypocrisy and lies. It also demonstrates how malicious policies can overwhelm their implementers, dragging them into hellish behavior and self-destruction.

Readers of Silva, Forsyth and Ludlum will enjoy this taut thriller written by a man who worked in the twilight world of government secrets.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

With an eye towards my scheduled reviews for the next few weeks, I'm currently turning pages with:

• The Barrow by Mark Smylie
A crew of scoundrels, deviants, and ruffians. A map. A fabled sword. The barrow of a dead wizard. Watch for my review (and an international giveaway) on Tuesday!

• Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard
This one came advertised as Princess Bride meets Game of Thrones. Again, good enough for me!

• Nightcrawlers by Tim Curran
A village that burned to the ground 200 years ago, and a bloodthirsty evil that has bred underground for generations. 

• A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger
Chaucer, cryptography, royal intrigue, and a a prophetic book that foretells the death of kings. Cool.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. Wish I had read Three last year, it and Morningside actually look pretty good. Somehow it flew right over my radar.

    Oh, and I need to get started on The Barrow, been told it is right up my alley.

    1. Three was a nice surprise, darker and more well-rounded than I expected.

      The Barrow I almost passed on, but I completely hooked. It's a very grown up sort of fantasy, and one that has no reservations with mortality rates.

  2. As usual these are all new to me but sure look like epic reads! Happy Reading!

    My STS will be up tomorrow, so be sure to stop by then!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  3. Face Off has a story by Preston and Child? I'm sold!

    1. Yeah, Preston & Child was the initial hook for me too - F. Paul Wilson, Steve Berry, James Rollins, and Lee Child are just icing on the cake.

  4. Both the MORNINGSIDE and ALEXANDER books sound like interesting reads, Bob

    1. I don't know much about Tom Wilde, but he had me at "modern Indiana Jones." :)

  5. I picked up Morningside Fall from Netgalley too! Couldn't resist, after how much I enjoyed Three last year.

    And glad to hear you're enjoying the Barrow. Very dark and mature, but enjoyable all the same. Hope I'll get my review up soon, it's a good one that I think deserves more attention.


    1. Three was a pleasant surprise - hoping he can pull it off a second time.

  6. your book sound great, I hope you'll like them all. Happy reading!

  7. Morningside Fall looks pretty interesting! I've never heard of these before, but I hope you love them!

    SP & STS
    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  8. Nice looking collection of books. I really enjoyed Moth and Spark. Come see what I got at Ms. Martin Teaches Media and Inside of a Dog. Happy reading!

  9. The synopsis of the Demonologist has just given me chills up and down my spine. Sounds scary! (But then, I'm a real big chicken!)

  10. The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper reminds me of Dan Brown.

  11. Interesting mailbox! Hope you enjoy your new books!

    Here is my post.

  12. The Demonologist looks very interesting!

    My Mailbox Monday

  13. FaceOff and Chasm sound great. I added them to my wish list.

  14. Enjoy! your new reads.

  15. I havent read any of these but i hope you enjoy them :)

    Check out what we are reading this week.

    Leydy @ OUaT & Redcarpetendings

  16. Faceoff sounds like it might be interesting. Sorry for the late visit.


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