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.

New additions coming in the door this week included:

Veil of the Deserters by Jeff Salyards
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Night Shade Books 

History, Family and Memory… these are the seeds of destruction.

Bloodsounder's Arc continues as Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual.

The Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways, and demands loyalty from all operatives. Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects, but she has political allegiances that are not his own. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another, but politics in the capital prove to be far more complicated and dangerous than even Killcoin could predict.

Deposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove the repressive Cynead, and Braylar and his sister Soffjian lie at the heart of his plans. The distance between "favored shadow agent of the emperor" and "exiled traitor" is an unsurprisingly short road. But it is a road filled with blind twists and unexpected turns. Before the journey is over, Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian. And old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen.

The Leopard by K. V. Johansen
Hardcover, 460 pages
Expected publication: June 10th 2014 by Pyr

Part one of a two-book epic fantasy, set in a world as richly drawn as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, but with Mideastern and Eastern flavors

In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…

Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.

To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.

Haunted Ontario 3: Ghostly Historic Sites, Inns, and Miracles by Terry Boyle
Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: April 14th 2014 by Dundurn Group

Interested in discovering more about haunted Ontario? Join Terry Boyle as he explores the shadowlands beyond the grave. Revel in the outstanding evidence of spirit habitation in museums, historic homes, inns, jails, and graveyards. Witness the full apparition of the innkeeper's wife at Greystones Inn in Orangeville. Encounter the misty form of a civil war veteran in the graveyard of the old St. Thomas church. Experience the incredible slamming-of-doors at the Keefer Mansion in Thorold. Visit a whole village of spirits who share the buildings at Black Creek Pioneer Village. You can even spend the entire night in the Orillia Opera House with Terry and his friends.

Prepare to be scared out of your wits with the stories behind these and other hauntings. After providing you with a list of addresses, phone numbers, and websites for each location, Terry invites you and all other ghost enthusiasts along for the adventure. Feeling brave?

Best British Horror 2014 edited by Johnny Mains
Paperback, 432 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2014 by Salt Publishing Ltd.

Edited by the British Fantasy Award winning editor Johnny Mains, Salt’s ‘Best’ series takes a journey into the bottomless depths of horror. You will find no ‘pleasing terrors’ here.

‘Mercy stands before her, wielding a mud-caked pickaxe in both hands…’ —When Charlie Sleeps, Laura Mauro

‘Too much Semtex was an obvious, beginners mistake, and I noted I needed to remove more brain in future…’ —Exploding Raphaelesque Heads, Ian Hunter

‘There isn’t much time. Blood is already spattering the paper on which I am writing…’ —The Secondary Host, John Probert

‘It appeared to be an insect of some kind, perhaps a beetle or a spider with a bloated body…’ —Come Into My Parlour, Reggie Oliver

Best British Horror is a new anthology series dedicated to showcasing and proving without doubt, that when it comes to horror and supernatural fiction, Britain is its obvious and natural home.

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin
Paperback, 432 pages
Expected publication: June 25th 2014 by Solaris

Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski
Paperback, 360 pages
Published October 16th 2013 by Severed Pres

After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain.

A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown.

To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of...THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO.


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:

• Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
A good, solid fantasy, pretty much what I was hoping for, but not exactly a frantic page-turner.

• Tales from High Hallack, Volume 1 by Andre Norton
High fantasy, fables, science fiction, and more - catching up with the Grand Dame of science fiction.

• Deathstalker Rebellion by Simon R. Green
I always keep a few 'fun' paperbacks on hand for vacations or roadtrips, and this week it's Deathstalker making the journey.

• The Blood of Alexander by Tom Wilde
A modern Indiana Jones steals a relic of Alexander the Great. 'Nuff said. That's precisely what I'm in the mood for right now.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. I like the sound of Deadly Curiosities and I'll be adding that to the ever growing wishlist! I'm not a fantasy fan but those covers are gorgeous. Happy reading!

    1. I've read a few short stories in the Deadly Curiosities universe and quite enjoyed them. Looking forward to the read.

  2. Really interesting mix of books you have this week. The Leopard sounds something that I could look into in more detail! Happy reading!

  3. Salyards moved up my list when he handled a troll with class on Goodreads recently. Plus his first book looked pretty good anyway.

    1. He's a good guy - classy as well as talented. Following his progress with Veil of the Deserters on Facebook has been quite interesting.

    2. Many thanks, Bob. I really appreciate that.

  4. Wow, a lot of horror books! I don't really read horror much, but the covers of some of these look really intriguing :)
    Happy reading and have a great weekend!

  5. The first two are why fantasy and science fiction books have the best covers!
    Sounds like an interesting mix, Bob.

    1. The Leopard is rather striking, isn't it? Veil of the Deserters looks great too, of course. :)

  6. VEIL OF THE DESERTERS and THE LEOPARD sound very rich and interesting

  7. This week I got Deadly Curiosities too! Also have The Leopard from an earlier book haul, it looks fantastic and I can't wait to read.

    And I have to say that's like the scariest cover ever on Best British Horror.


    My Book Haul

  8. Wow! Lots of horror books there! They look pretty interesting too! Hope you enjoy them all!

    Here's my STS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  9. The premise for The Leopard sounds interesting, and the cover looks cool. *adds to TBR list*

  10. Haunted Ontario looks really good - fun for a stormy night!
    Happy reading!

    1. I'm looking forward to it. I actually started blogging (way back in the day) by photographing and writing about supposedly haunted locations around Ontario, and Boyle's first 2 books were a big part of my roadtrip planning. Reviewing this will be kind of like coming full circle.

  11. These are all new to me, Happy reading!!

    Check out what we are reading this week.

    Also check out our OUAT 4 year Giveaway.

    Leydy @OUaT & RCE

  12. Haunted Ontario looks good. The others look too scary.

    ENJOY your reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  13. Haunted Ontario 3 sounds interesting. Some of your books have the grossest covers! :)


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