Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Book Haul / Showcase Sunday

I went back to work this week, just trying to get some normality back. I even managed to read a couple of books on the commute to work so I am going to try and write reviews for them this week. In the meantime I haven't done a book haul post for a month and even with everything going on, I did end up with quite a few new books over Christmas and New Year, so here's my first Showcase Sunday of the year.
This is Books, Biscuits and Tea's Showcase Sunday where I share my lovely book hauls each week. Have a look back at Vicki's link up to see what everyone is up too!

Christmas Presents

A Song of Ice and Fire Box Set - George R.R. Martin
Publisher: Voyager
One of my closest friends bought me this box set after I adored the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones. I'm really excited about reading the rest of the books - although it will mean some weight-lifting on the train with the size of these books!

Grimm Tales - Philip Pullman
Publisher: Penguin
In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a'clear as water' retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice.
From the quests and romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' to the danger and wit of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my-Hedgehog' and 'Godfather Death', Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story's background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.

This was a Christmas present from my guest reviewer, Sarah as she knows how much I love Fairy tales. Plus the cover looks great - I'm really looking forward to reading this soon!

The Revenge of Eli Monpress - Rachel Aaron
Publisher: Orbit
Eli Monpress is vain. He's cocky. And he's a thief. 
But he's a thief who has just seen his bounty topped and he's not happy about it. The bounty topper, as it turns out, is his best friend and master swordsman, Josef. He's been keeping secrets from Eli. Apparently, he's the only prince of a rather feisty country, and he's been ordered to come home to do his duty. This means throwing over personal ambitions like proving he's the greatest swordsman who ever lived. 
Family drama aside, Eli and Josef have their hands full. The Spirit Court has been usurped by the Council of Thrones and someone calling herself the Immortal Empress is staging a massive invasion. But it's not just politics - the Immortal Empress has a specific target in mind: Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world.

Competition Wins

Cold City - F. Paul Wilson
Publisher: Tor Books
We join Jack a few months after his arrival in New York City. He doesn’t own a gun yet, though he’s already connected with Abe. Soon he’ll meet Julio and the Mikulski brothers. He runs afoul of some Dominicans, winds up at the East Side Marriott the night Meir Kahane is shot, gets on the bad side of some Arabs, starts a hot affair, and disrupts the smuggling of preteen sex slaves. 

I won this from the lovely Melissa at Books and Things. It's not a series I've ever read but as it's the first in a prequel trilogy I'm sure I can pick it up! 

Glimmers - Barbara Brooke
A simple touch and suddenly, Paige is in the past - living someone else's life, seeing the world through their eyes, and feeling their deepest emotions. Paige used to think memories only existed in one's mind. But now, she knows better. She can't explain how or why, but she has glimmers: special moments that have remained behind - clinging to a letter, a ring, even a worn-out pair of boots. 
When Paige returns from each glimmer, a small part of her has changed. Who is this gourmet cook, fashion designer, feisty lover? And how is she supposed to explain this to her family without them thinking she has completely lost her mind?
Paige thought her new talent was a gift, until…she was suddenly transported into her sister’s memory, and caught a glimmer of her secret life. 

I won this over at Supernatural Snark as I thought it sounded quite intriguing and different.

This Case Is Gonna Kill Me - Phillipa Bornakova
Publisher: Tor
 What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court. 
Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner.
But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe...

 I won this from Book Chick City during their October All Hallows Eve event and it arrived just before Christmas when I had forgotten all about it!

Possessed - Niki Valentine
Publisher: Sphere
Emma's life has always been a struggle, and now she's been accepted at a prestigious music school, she is determined to excel. But when the impossibly chic twins, confident Sophie and quieter Matilde, come crashing into her life - surrounding her with champagne and parties - they demand Emma's full attention. 
Then shy Matilde commits suicide and shockingly, her identical twin Sophie flourishes. Now odd things are happening to Emma: blackouts, waking up in strange places, bizarre dreams. Something, or someone, is consuming Emma's mind. Terrified, Emma begins to doubt everything and everyone around her, especially the beautiful Sophie...

I'll be honest - I'm not sure where this came from. It arrived in the post with no note or anything.

Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Changeling - Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days. Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape. 
     Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

Black Heart Loa - Adrian Phoenix
Publisher: Pocket Books
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.

Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian #5) - Diana Rowland
Publisher: Daw Books
Kara Gillian is in some seriously deep trouble. 
She’s used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now the tables have been turned and she’s the one who’s been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of yet another demonic lord, but she quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. Yet waiting for rescue has never been her style, and Kara has no intention of being a pawn in someone else’s game. 
There’s intrigue to spare as she digs into the origin of the demonic lords and discovers the machinations of humans and demons alike. Kara is shocked to discover that she has her own history in the demon realm, and that the ties between her and the demonic lords Rhyzkahl and Szerain go back farther than she could have ever imagined. But treachery runs rampant among all the lords, and she’s going to have to stay sharp in order to keep from being used to further their own agendas. The lords have a secret that dates back to earth’s ancient history, and it could have devastating repercussions for both worlds.
Yet more than anything else, Kara’s abilities as a homicide detective will be put to the test—because this time the murder she has to solve is her own.

So what has everyone else been up to this week...?


  1. It's so good to see you back Mel, *hugs*.
    I really don't know what to say, but I hope you're okay.
    Lots of great looking books over Christmas, hope you enjoy them- that box set looks like a lot of reading! Seraphina is a fab book though.

  2. It's nice to see you, I hope you're fine...
    It's a lot of great books and I hope you enjoy them all.
    *big hugs*

  3. Welcome back Mel, you will find everyday normal routine to be your sanity saver and so glad you have the "urge" to read as right now losing yourself in books is a good idea.

    You are going to have so many hours and days of enjoyable reading that Martins heavy books will feel light as a feather!

  4. *hugs*
    Nice to see you here again and what an awesome load of books

  5. *hugging you tight*
    Good things you probably can lift weights with Martin's gift set it's so heavy ;)
    Also there are some amazing books in your December haul, gal! last 5 are certainly on my wishlist with Seraphina on my bookshelf already. I hope you enjoy them all!

  6. That's a whole lot of books! I've heard of the Eli Monpress stories and want to give them a try sometime. I hadn't seen This Case Is Gonna Kill Me before but that sounds really cool, definitely going on my to-read list. And I'm excited to see you got Seraphina - I read it as an arc over the summer and loved it, I need to get myself a paperback copy when I can :) I think I'm going to be giving some copies of it as a gift too, such a good story.
    I've also been meaning to try something by Diana Rowland for a while, but haven't got round to it yet.

    You can see my book post here: The Book Bundle.


  7. The whole box set! Wow. And you got Eli. :) Your favorite. :) ANd sooooo many great additional books. I've got a few here I want to get. Hope you have a good week dear. :) *hugs*