From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

A quiet week on pretty much all fronts, but still some interesting stuff going on (and coming in), including a big giveaway . . .


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.

A bit of a mixed bag this week with 1 new review title, a pair of purchases, and a pair of Kindle freebies (because I don't already have enough books to read - LOL).

Vienna by William S. Kirby

Vienna is a unique and unforgettable novel. . . . Inspired by a classic Sherlock Holmes story, Vienna reimagines Holmes and Watson for the 21st century

It started as nothing more than a one-night stand . . .

Justine is an A-list fashion model on a photo shoot in Europe. Adored by half the world, she can have whomever she wants, but she’s never met anyone like the strange English girl whose bed she wakes up in one morning.

Vienna is an autistic savant, adrift in a world of overwhelming patterns and connections only she can see. Socially awkward and inexperienced, she’s never been with anyone before, let alone a glamorous supermodel enmeshed in a web of secrets and intrigue.

When Justine’s current beau is murdered in the bathroom of her hotel room, she suddenly finds herself thrown into the middle of a deadly conspiracy focusing on a set of antique wooden mannikins—the same ones that are the centerpieces of the photo shoot.

What secret do the mannikins hide, and why is it worth killing over?

Drawn together by an attraction neither of them can explain, Justine and Vienna are pursued across Europe by paparazzi, tabloid headlines . . . and the mystery of Vienna’s own shadowy past, which holds the key to everything.

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: "And they lived happily ever after..." Guess what? It's not true. Life in never-never land isn't all sweetness and light. Cinderella - whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) - does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.

But not long after the "happily ever after," Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia - otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty - comes to the rescue (she's a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.

That's when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.

Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland's most nefarious villains?

Brutal Passions by J.E. Keep & M. Keep

“You don’t take it easy on a fella, do you?”

Ruki’s powerful. Strong. And she's on an adventure of her very own, seeking out greatness and tales worthy of song.

She thirsts for glory, and when she stumbles upon a pretty young man in the wreckage of a caravan, it's the beginning of the biggest challenge in her life. Can she save the boy or will she instead be tempted by the muscle-bound dragon-warrior that's in pursuit of him?

The Atomic Sea: Volume One by Jack Conner

Epic adventure in a strange world by bestselling author Jack Conner. A thousand years ago, the sea began to change, and the change spread. Now the boiling, toxic, lightning-wreathed Atomic Sea has encompassed every ocean on the planet, and the creatures that live in it have become mutated and unnatural. The sea's taint can infect any human who comes in contact with it or with unprocessed seafood, killing them . . . or altering them. No one knows why the sea has become this way or what it portends, only that it's irrevocably changed the world.

Meanwhile, world war has erupted, and the small country of Ghenisa, like many others, is tottering on the brink of collapse under the onslaught of the Empire of Octung. Dr. Francis Avery, a middle-aged widower, is aboard a military whaling ship far out on the Atomic Sea when a series of murders onboard propels him down the rabbit-hole of danger and terror unlike any other. Soon he becomes aware of a spy on the ship, but that's just the beginning. With the help of the grizzled whaler Janx and a mysterious woman named Layanna, he will embark on an epic quest to save Ghenisa from Octung and unravel the secrets of the Atomic Sea. This is the opening volume of a multi-volume saga of adventure and high stakes in an awe-inspiring world unlike any you've ever seen before. Welcome to the world of the Atomic Sea.

Lost Oasis by T.M. Bown

An Ancient Persian army lost in the desert for 2,500 years...the fabulous, legendary lost oasis of Zerzura!

After he discovers a Persian gold coin deep in the Egyptian desert, geologist John Cavanaugh leads a team of archaeologists back to the site, unknowingly triggering the rebirth of a multitude of long forgotten horrors. But as the expedition approaches its goal, Cavanaugh realizes the worst: each of his crew members is along for a different reason. Fame, riches, love, and remnants of a dark past fuel their actions and lead them to individual fates that none of them bargained for.

Lost Oasis is a dark, fast-paced adventure thriller that takes the reader on two unique safaris 2,500 years apart, through a surreal, malevolent desert where they encounter friendship and betrayal, ambition and oblivion, discovery and loss, joy and terror, love and death.

TM Bown is a PhD consulting geologist who has participated on 48 overseas expeditions, including twenty-two seasons in Egypt and ten elsewhere in the Middle East. In addition to his geologic studies, he has co-authored four articles on the oldest road in the world (IV Dynasty of Pharaonic Egypt), and he was scientific consultant for the English Channel 4 TV Documentary Series “Ends of the Earth” on the 2002 program, entitled The Lost Army of King Cambyses. Dr. Bown lives near Denver, Colorado, where he is working on a second novel which also partly takes place in ancient Egypt.


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.

Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey continues to be my read of leisure, and while it had a slow start, I'm really enjoying where the story is taking us; The Crimson Corset by Alistair Cross has a more leisurely pace than I expected at the start, but it's a fascinating small-town vampire tale; and finally I've decided to throw caution to the wind, ignore release dates, and dive into Crimson Shore by Preston & Child simply because I can.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. them PASSIONS look rather spicy! THE ATOMIC SEA sounds good too

  2. Interesting mix of books! I hope they all manage to live up to expectations! Have a good reading week!

  3. Cool, that's a Jim C. Hines book that I'm hearing about for the first time. I've read Libriomancer, and recently he had a new Fable tie-in book come out that I was kind of interested in. He's getting into the fairy tale theme lately, it seems.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I think it's actually his 2nd series, after the goblin one - looked like there were 3 or 4 books in the series on the shelf.

  4. Vienna looks really interesting! Have a great week.

  5. Each of your books seem so unique. I really like the mystery suspense, Vienna. Enjoy all.

  6. Carey and her Kushiel series is the best! Enjoy.


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