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.

This will likely be my last serious indulgence of the review pile for while, since I really want to strike a better balance between upcoming titles and my personal TBR shelves, but each of these struck a nerve or hit a particular niche.

Yesterday's Kin by Nancy Kress
Expected publication: September 9th 2014 by Tachyon Publications

Aliens have landed in New York. 

A deadly cloud of spores has already infected and killed the inhabitants of two worlds. Now that plague is heading for Earth, and threatens humans and aliens alike. Can either species be trusted to find the cure?

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is immersed in the desperate race to save humanity, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Siblings Elizabeth and Ryan are strident isolationists who agree only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Marianne’s youngest, Noah, is a loner addicted to a drug that constantly changes his identity. But between the four Jenners, the course of human history will be forever altered. 

Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent human extinction—and not everyone is willing to wait.

Heraclix & Pomp by Forrest Aguirre
Expected publication: September 2014 by Resurrection House/Underland Press

Heraclix was dead and Pomp was immortal. That was before Heraclix’s reanimation (along with the sewn-together pieces and parts of many other dead people) and Pomp’s near murder at the hands of an evil necromancer. As they travel from Vienna to Prague to Istanbul and back again (with a side-trip to Hell), they struggle to understand who and what they are: Heraclix seeks to know the life he had before his death and rebirth, and Pomp wrestles with the language and meaning of mortality. As they journey across a land rife with revolution and unrest, they discover the evil necromancer they thought dead might not be so dead after all. In fact, he might be making a pact to ensure his own immortality . . .

Published July 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition

Edward Robert Teach is a modern-day barbarian that encompasses everything a woman loves and hates in a man. He abhors his notorious namesake, correctness in any form, and has a habit of expressing his opinion whenever it does the most offense. When he meets Kamini, a stunningly beautiful, large eyed woman from the planet Feletia, he thinks he has finally met the girl of his dreams until he is recruited by her, and he becomes the unlikeliest captain of a prototype destroyer in the Feletian space navy, giving him the ability to stir up more trouble than he can get out of. Queen Aphelia, leader of her female dominant society, and Kamini's mother, takes an interest in him. She uses Robert to attain her political goals, forcing him to learn harsh and sometimes painful lessons in humility when his earthbound attitude clashes with the strong-willed Feletian women. When Robert is powerless to stop the assassination of the Feletian royal family, Kamini ascends the throne and takes him as husband. He becomes Feletia's Regent, sparking a political and marital struggle that could bring the flames of galactic war to the peaceful planet.

Published February 26th 2014

"Stand and Protect." 

These are the words Star Federation soldiers live by as they work to uphold peace across the galaxy. Founded at the start of the Andromedan War, the Star Federation obliterated its opponents and now stands as the guardian of the galaxy. Its power has gone largely unchallenged in the wake of the war, and its officers now busy themselves with minor troubles. Once in a while, however, a powerful force surfaces and demands more attention, be it a drug lord, pirate crew, or a bounty hunter worthy of the Alpha Classification. 

Following the assassination of one of the Star Federation's officers, Fleet Commander Lance Ashburn goes on the hunt for the Alpha Class bounty hunter known as the Shadow. One of the best officers the Star Federation has ever seen, Commander Ashburn comes closer than anyone ever has to eliminating the Shadow, but upon meeting her, he discovers that much larger and more dangerous enemies roam the stars. Enemies that even hunters fear. 

Determined to do his duty as a Star Federation officer, Commander Ashburn fights for the galaxy, but the price of enduring peace may be one that the Shadow is not willing to pay.

The Earl of Brass by Kara Jorgensen
Published June 19th 2014 by Fox Collie

When Eilian Sorrell, a promising archaeologist and the eldest son of the Earl of Dorset, loses his arm in a dirigible crash, he fears he will face a bleak future among London's aristocracy. On a quest for normalcy, Lord Sorrell commissions a prosthetic arm but finds the craftsman is not what he seems. 

After the death of her brother, Hadley Fenice takes over his prosthesis business but knows it will be an uphill battle as women are discouraged from doing man’s work. In return for building Lord Sorrell an automaton arm, he offers her a chance at freedom by following him to the Negev Desert under the guise of a man.

But what lies beneath the desert is more precious than potshards or bones. As they venture deeper, they discover a society where the path of life is not governed by gain but by passion. When imperialistic invaders come in search of a new colony to pillage, Eilian and Hadley are forced to defend their fleeting glimpse of paradise.


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:

• City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett 
Absolutely stellar - imaginative and well-told. With the official release date still 2 months away, I'm taking my time and lingering over the second half.

• Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell  
A swashbuckling adventure to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats. I'm enjoying this one immensely - especially the backstory.

• Plague by C.C. Humphreys  
Historical fiction about a serial killer, a plague, and a culture of excess - written by a fellow Canadian.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. I've never heard any of these books before, but thanks for sharing! Not really much of a fan for historical fiction. ;)

  2. Like the sound of Chasing Shadows.
    This past week I've NOT been reading my current manuscript, which is a good thing!

    1. Sometimes you need to step back and take a breather, eh?

  3. Chasing Shadows and Yesterday's Kin just went on my wish list. I love Nancy Kress's books and several have been on our Science Fiction Book Club reading list. They always make for great discussion.

  4. CHASING SHADOWS sounds like a metaphor of today's USA which love their role of aggressive evil world police tyrant.
    THE EARL OF BRASS sounds intriguingly interesting and original

  5. OOoh nice! These are all new to me! Hope you enjoy each and every one of them!

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

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  6. Nice haul, like the sound of Chasing Shadows :D

    My new pretties :)

  7. you always have many new books to me, I hope you'll like them all. Happy reading!

  8. Glad you're enjoying Traitor's Blade - I was wondering what your thoughts on it were so far. Believe Sebastien de Castell is a fellow Canadian too!


  9. Chasing Shadows looks like one I will have to keep an eye out for. I need to balance personal shelves and review books to (once I catch up on reviews that is).Happy Reading!
    Here are my newest additions.


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