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Secrets and Shadows

    Review: Secrets and Shadows

    Secrets and Shadows, the second book in the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany, was released on February 15, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

    It is available online to order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 320 pages.

    **The first line of the Goodreads description is spoiler-y for book one**

    Highlight over the blank space to read the hidden text.

    Goodreads description:

    Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves.

    Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important.

    Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

    ***

    Jessie’s been having nightmares. After everything that she witnessed, everything that she did that night, she expected them. She just wished they would stop. That she could make peace with everything that happened.

    She wanted things to return to the way they used to be. Before she met Pietr Rusakova and his family. Before the accident that took her mother from her. Where her only heartache was having a crush on Derek. And the only excitement in her life came from entering competitions with her horse, Rio.

    But once she gave her heart away, she knew that going back was not an option. And that she would do whatever she could to help the Rusakovas find their mother before time ran out. Even if it meant putting herself in danger once more.

    Living under the constant threat to her safety from her association with the Rusakovas, having to keep secrets from her friends, walking on eggshells around Sarah, trying to figure out the real reason for the recent suicides at Junction High, discovering that someone she knows is much more than they appear to be and losing sleep from the nightmares that terrorize her, Jessica Gillmansen is really beginning to miss being just a farm girl from boring old Junction.

    ***

    The mystery deepens, the pace accelerates, and the tension continues to build in Secrets and Shadows, the exciting sequel to 13 to Life. The story doesn’t miss a beat and picks up shortly after the events in the first book, allowing readers to easily continue from one book to the next without a disconnect. But for those readers who have had to wait, the inclusion of a prologue offers just enough of a refresher about the story and events to bring them up to speed.

    In this sequel, the action intensifies as Jessica Gillmansen tries to come to grips with the part she played in the events that would leave her forever tied to the Rusakovas. And after learning their secret, she is now more determined than ever to help Pietr and his family.

    Even as she tries to get closer to Pietr, she can feel him pulling away, leaving her wondering what she did wrong. But Jessie is not one to give up, and loyalty and hope keep her going even as her heart is breaking.

    And when a troubling secret is uncovered about one of her friends, trying to keep her out of harm’s way while continuing to keep an eye on Wanda and Sarah, attempting to repair the broken Rusakova family, reuniting them with their mother, and actually attending classes every once in a while is keeping Jessie more than busy.

    So busy that her investigative mind fails to uncover an even bigger threat to her, and one that might be just too late to protect herself from.

    Author Shannon Delany has really expanded upon the story and characters she introduced in her debut novel. Jessie has become an independent, strong, determined, loyal and good-hearted main character who is much more likable and sympathetic in this sequel.

    There are a few new developments for some of the secondary characters and a few surprise revelations that will keep readers frantically turning those pages.

    Once again there is a dramatic conclusion to the story, leaving readers on the edge of a pretty steep cliff. Fortunately, the third book in the series, Bargains and Betrayals, has just been released so there is no wait to find out what’s at the bottom of that cliff.

    Secrets and Shadows is an immensely entertaining read in a series that continues to surprise and will draw readers in with its easy style, likable characters, romantic tension and cliffhanger ending. This second book in the series brings even more action and mystery to the page and is sure to keep readers engaged.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I so completely loved this sequel. Why didn’t I read this last February? Seriously, what is wrong with me? I loved this way more than the first book in the series.

    I totally adored 13 to Life, but this just was so much better. As with book one, the writing made it so easy to keep that connection with the characters and the story, but this book had a much better flow. And aside from one question I had about the repercussions of something that happened to the main character, nothing pulled me out of the story once I made that connection. Everything I had an issue with or found confusing in the first book was not present in this book at all.

    I actually loved Jessie in Secrets and Shadows. Where she frustrated me and I thought her too much of a martyr in book one, here she was strong and determined and protective in all the right amounts. And throughout this story I really cared about what happened to her.

    The love story was deliciously torturous, maddeningly so at times, but in all the best possible ways. And even though there was still a little bit of a love triangle, it changed significantly and was definitely not the focus. I’m almost always a fan of the love triangle, but it’s nice to see that it wasn’t treated quite the same way in this sequel. And it became even more interesting with a surprise element that definitely mixed things up.

    Pietr was as yummy and frustrating as ever. Max was adorable, flirtatious and so totally alpha male. And Cat was a great friend and keeper of the peace.

    A few of the characters had less of a role, but were not forgotten entirely and were still kept a part of this story. And as much as I’m not a Derek fan, I am so glad that his part wasn’t reduced and he remained such an important character.

    I am really excited about an interesting twist in the story and what it means for one or more of the characters in this series. I would say more but it would be a total spoiler. But, it really makes me want to re-read 13 to Life to see if there were any hints.

    I liked how the author continued to progress the story and also Sarah’s character and I’m interested to see just what happens with her in the next book as everything was always pretty fragile with her.

    Secrets and Shadows was no filler novel or sophomore slump. Not only is there a new development with one of the characters, but the author broadened the world just in time for book three, completely blowing the door wide open for all sorts of possibilities.

    And with the cliffhanger ending in this book, there is no way I could not continue on with this series. I am so glad that I don’t have to wait and can just go from one book to the next without pause. I’m actually afraid to finish Bargains and Betrayals and possibly be left hanging until the fourth book’s release.

    How I “discovered” this book:

    Secrets and Shadows is a “Just Discovered” just got a chance to read book.

    I discovered the series initially from an Amazon recommendation shortly after the first book in the series, 13 to Life, was released. I decided to buy it, but didn’t immediately get a chance to read it.

    What got me to move this up in my TBR pile was the prequel novella Beasts and BFFs. It was short, but gave me a quick peek at the characters and the world. And I began reading 13 to Life very soon thereafter.

    The moment I finished it, I couldn’t wait to get this my hands on the sequel, Secrets and Shadows. But as always seems to be the case, by the time it was released, blogging got in the way. Which is why there are so few “Just Discovered” reviews lately. I always seem to be playing catch-up on required reviews and new releases.

    So, when release date came around last February this downloaded to my Kindle, but kept getting pushed further and further back. Even though I really, really wanted to read it. So as release date approached for book three, Bargains and Betrayals, which I happened to get an early copy of, I finally got a chance to move it to the top of the reading pile.

    I still would have liked to read this when I put it on my reading pile a couple weeks ago, but only just got around to reading it this past weekend. Still, it was well worth the wait and I’m actually glad I had the next book to pick up immediately because talk about a torturous cliffhanger ending. It beats the cliffhanger at the end of book one by a mile.

    ***

    Favorite passage, well, second favorite, my favorite is totally spoiler-y:

    Something flared in his eyes, bright as wildfire, and he grabbed me, covering my mouth with his. I gasped, and he moved his lips against mine, pinning our bodies together with his powerful arms. Every nerve ending in my body sparked like electricity rioted just beneath my skin as we breathed the same air. Shared the same tastes.

    If you’d like to check out my review for 13 to Life, click here.

    Book trailer for Secrets and Shadows:

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    My Reading Pile #20

    It was a bit of a small mailbox week, but size doesn’t always matter. Yes, that’s a copy of Rachel Vincent’s upcoming novel, Blood Bound, which I received for review. But as it’s not personally signed to me I’ll be sending it along to one of my favorite bloggers when I’m done. And, yeah, I will be reading it this week.

    I also got duplicate copies of Shatter Me and Don’t Breathe a Word which I received from a trade with another blogger and which I’m donating to the YA Crush Tourney along with a couple other books.

    I hope to read Shatter Me and Don’t Breathe a Word really soon, but in the meantime…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (July 31-August 6, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Blood Bound, the first book in a new adult series by Rachel Vincent. I received this signed advance copy for review from the author and I just couldn’t wait until next week to start reading it, so I added it to this week’s pile instead.

    I’ve been stalking this book since the moment I heard about it on Rachel Vincent’s blog. I loved seeing the different cover options that were being debated, but it was the synopsis that intrigued me. A paranormal tracker searching the criminal underworld for a missing girl and being forced to rely on a forbidden lover to assist her, sounds both thrilling and tantalizing.

    This story holds the promise of danger and desire, with fast-paced action, an exciting paranormal element and a twisty-turny plot. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a non-young adult book and I’m excited for it to be Blood Bound.

    Next up is Frost by Marianna Baer. I had requested and received an advance copy from the publisher for review. I had acquired another copy from a trade – yes, I clearly wanted this book – but I passed that one on to another blogger.

    Frost won’t be released until mid-September, but as an early review was requested, I’ve added it to the pile this week.

    I wanted to read this book ever since I saw the cover a few months ago. The bluish-grey tones called out to me. Then I checked out the description and knew I had to read this book.

    Frost is set in a boarding school, and the main character, Leena Thomas, gets a new roommate for her senior year. Odd things begin to happen, but whether they stem from Leena, the new roommate, or something else, is what remains to be discovered. Frost sounds eerie, disturbing and chilling and is one of those books that is right up my alley.

    I haven’t decided whether this will be one of my late night reads, or one that is best left for daylight hours. Either way, I can’t wait to find out what happens at Frost House.

    My third book of the week is Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany. This is the second book in the 13 to Life series and it was released back in February. I will be reading an eBook finished copy which has been sitting in my to be read pile for way too long.

    I’ve added this book to the pile this week as I have a review copy of Bargains and Betrayals from the publisher, which I plan to read prior to its release date in mid-August. I can’t wait to get back into this series as I’ve really missed Jess and Pietr and I’m dying to find out what happens next.

    I had every intention of reading this on release date, but as is typical with blogging, favorite reads get set aside for required ones. But now that the third book in the series is a required read for me, I am not complaining about having to add this book to the pile this week.

    According to the book’s description, there is more danger and even more of a paranormal element than in 13 to Life. I can’t wait to find out if the Rusakova’s are able to free their mother and just where in the paranormal realm the author will take me.

    Last, but definitely not least, is Possess by Gretchen McNeil. I won an ARC of Possess in a charitable auction and as release date is right around the corner I decided, with a little help from Kreag of I Devour Books, to add this one to the pile this week.

    I just spotlighted it for my Book Watch post, and was completely drawn into Bridget Liu’s story. And yes, it’s dangerous to skim a book before actually reading it, but I did not venture into the last half of the book when doing so.

    Bridget has the ability to hear demons and banish them, and she uses her gift to help out a priest with his demonic possession cases. But getting involved with anything demon-related is asking for trouble and it seems that Bridget must figure out what the demons are planning before someone she knows gets hurt.

    After my brief “glances” through the book, and maybe getting caught up in the first five or ten pages, I knew that I would enjoy Possess. It feels like a quick read with a main character who will be incredibly entertaining to follow.

    As this is my fourth book on the pile this week I hope it doesn’t overlap with next week’s reads.

    ***

    What a terrible Witch Week this was. Although I had several witchy posts, I only ended up re-reading Witch Eyes and reading The Near Witch. And I still have to write my The Near Witch review for Monday or Tuesday’s post.

    Would I like to read Witch Eyes again? Yeah. It’s one of those books I can just escape into, but as it’s heading off to the post office to be delivered to another blogger, I am forced to say goodbye.

    And I really hope to do better this week, but I make no promises.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I actually don’t have a true wishful thinking read for this week, because I am reading Forgotten Souls by Tiffany King and I’m making that my wishful thinking read. Forgotten Souls is the sequel to the author’s first book, Meant to Be and continues the story of Krista and Mark.

    I can’t say too much about it as I’m only about ten percent of the way through and I haven’t read a description of it, but I’m excited to see where this leads.

    Those left behind:

    This is one of those shame-spiral sections this week. I did not read Once a Witch or Always a Witch and I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get to read them. I will try to read them this week, or at least the first book in the series, and I will try my hardest not to let them move too far down in the to be read pile.

    I also have some catching up to do on previous week’s reads, but I may add them back into a future reading pile just so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    And once again, I am ever hopeful of tackling all four books in this week’s pile. I’m keeping not only my fingers crossed but my eyes crossed too!

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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    Random Thoughts: My 2011 Top Ten List of Unread Books

    This post can alternatively be titled: My 2011 Unread Books Shame Spiral

    So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I can’t possibly read every single book when it comes out. But, oh, I so want to. However, I usually try to read all of my favorites within a week or two, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And as more time passes, especially now that my evenings are taken up with blogging, some of my favorite reads are falling farther and farther down my “to be read” list.

    I never thought the day would come when a “can hardly wait” book would end up at least thirty books away from the top of the heap, but it’s happened. And I’m actually kind of devastated.

    When I first started blogging my enthusiasm fueled me and allowed me to pull any number of all-nighters to stay up reading and writing my reviews. Those days feel like a lifetime ago. Somewhere around two o’clock in the morning I crash and no amount of caffeine will keep me awake reading into the wee hours of the night. Or morning as the case may be.

    Of course what prompted this post of shame is the fact that I am sitting here, three weeks after release date and I still haven’t read City of Fallen Angels. I do blame iBooks and their download debacle which has yet to be resolved, but in the end, I am ultimately to blame for not taking the time out to read this book.

    I’ve posted quite a few giveaways, saw the author at both the signing and the RT Convention in Los Angeles, but still haven’t managed to finish the book. And right now, it’s about midway through the second page on my Kindle, and falling fast, as week after week more books download and push it farther away from my watchful eyes.

    But CoFA isn’t the only book that has drifted from my grasp. There are oh so many more that have slipped away – sometimes quietly, sometimes not – but I do feel their loss.

    If I had to go back to November 2010 when I started blogging I don’t think I could create a top ten list, as there would just be too many to choose from. And so I will list just those books released in 2011 that I was so eager to read on release date and yet still haven’t managed to squeeze in the time.

    #10

    Blue Bloods by Kailin Gow is one of the books I was eagerly awaiting. This installment was to be much more action packed than its predecessor and I couldn’t wait for its release. I’m sad to say it is still waiting a read.

    #9

    Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard was also a book I wanted to read right away. I even started to read it, but was on deadline for a promised review – I feel like I’m on way too many deadlines these days – so had to put it down. Sadly it has yet to be picked up again, but I have not forgotten just how much I want to read this book.

    #8

    The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker was so top-of-the-list for me. I couldn’t help but become hooked on all the craziness with the pink wigs and pinked Twitter avatars. I could not wait for this book and was so jealous of everyone who got a chance to read it before release date. I think four or five books downloaded that night for me and I knew that there was no way I could read it immediately, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to. I kept moving it forward so that it wouldn’t sink to the back of the pack on my Kindle, but now it’s four pages in.

    #7

    Lemniscate by Jennnifer Murgia wasn’t released too long ago, but it was a sequel I was waiting forever for. It took me two reads to fall in love with the first book in the series, but fall in love I did. It was one of the first Indie books I had read and wasn’t quite used to the different style of the Indies, but when a much wiser and more experienced me re-read it I absolutely adored it. And then couldn’t wait for the sequel. And I’m still waiting to find the time to read it. I don’t feel too bad as it’s only three pages back, but still. So much for reading on release day.

    #6

    The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith was an absolute must read. I have loved this series forever. (Both the TV show and the books.) I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next but I knew that there is no way I’d have time to read this book immediately as it’s a huge book. And sadly when time is a factor, it’s much easier to choose the shorter reads. Besides, I’m not entirely sure just how to write a review for these books as they are so elaborate and so detailed. But I really want to read this last book in the series written completely by the author and am sad that I still haven’t done so.

    #5

    Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany was a fairly newly discovered series for me. I read the first book only a short while before book two was to come out. I couldn’t wait. I was so hooked on this series that I couldn’t imagine not reading it the second it downloaded. But I can’t even remember what happened. I was so psyched to read it, and then somehow completely spaced. By the time I realized that I missed the chance to read it, I was already late on every single deadline and so I had to put this one back in the TBR pile. This is a book that I do not want to wait to read until the release of the paperback so that I’ll have a timely review. I just hope it doesn’t end up that way just because of my schedule.

    #4

    Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon is one one of the books that I hyped here on the blog. I couldn’t wait for its release and I absolutely love this cover. I was completely fired up to read this on release date and once again I had to set it aside for a mandatory read. I’m not too far off from release date, and I still see it hanging out on page three of my Kindle, but that’s way too far back for my liking. I really hope to have the time to read this one in the next few weeks. I think I have got to stop checking NetGalley and requesting new books to review.

    #3

    Afterlife by Claudia Gray is my saddest missed read. I didn’t care that this was the end of the road, I just had to know what happened. I even set aside a book I was reading and began to read this one. It was just as grabbing as all the rest of the Evernight series and I couldn’t wait to finish it. But as I was reading, the guilt crept in and I had to put this down. There was a little war between good and evil going on inside, but sadly the hedonist did not win against responsible me and since that date I have not had a moment to return to this story.

    #2

    Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr is yet another final book in a series that I absolutely loved. I was desperate for this book to come out, but at the same time I was devastated. I knew, especially as there were a whole bunch of series ending, that I might not want to read this right away and say goodbye to some of the most interesting characters I’ve known in a young adult series. But I didn’t think I’d have waited this long. Really. This cover still calls to me from my book pile even though the eBook is now long buried I don’t know how many pages in.

    #1

    Oh c’mon did you really expect to see anything else here? I talked about this before I even started the list! City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is my greatest shame. There is no real reason why I shouldn’t have blown off every single deadline and read this from start to finish. Who cares that there’s a cliffhanger ending? Who cares that every single person would have read and reviewed it on the exact same day? There are absolutely no excuses for why this book has not yet been read and reviewed. None.

    ***

    Do you have any books that have fallen prey to the deadlines of blogging? Have you sacrificed your favorite read because your life got in the way? Have you overspent on books that were less important, forgetting about your favorite release and now your wallet is bare?

    I’ve shared with you my dirty little secret and would love to know what unread books are your greatest shame?

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    The Extras: March

    Whenever I find either a legal free download, an excerpt or sneak peek of a book online, I try to link to it in a related post or include the link in my sidebar (to your right).

    But once a month I’ll pop them into a post for a “one-stop shop” with a brief description. In an attempt to clear out my sidebar this month I’m adding a few of the oldies here to give you one last chance to grab them.

    We have a few peeks at upcoming releases, just released books and some of them are just items that have been offered for free for awhile but you might have missed. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice sneak peek or freebie now and again?

    And yes, I know it’s not March yet and I only have one excerpt from a March release (many of the March release excerpts are in the sidebar), but it’s a monthly post and when I did February’s I missed a whole bunch of February freebies, so here it is a week earlier than planned.

    Karsten Knight’s upcoming debut novel Wildefire will be releasing on July 26, 2011. Simon & Schuster has an excerpt from this amazing book on their site.

    First lines: Ashline Wilde was a human mood ring. Sixteen years old, and she was a cauldron of emotions—frothing, bubbling, and volatile. She had never heard of “bottling it all up inside.” She was as transparent as the air itself.

    Desires of the Dead is the second book in the Body Finder series. It was released this week on February 15th. If you haven’t started the series or you want to see if it’s worth a read, check out this nice, long excerpt from the folks at Harper Collins.

    I have not yet read it, as I have both books in my TBR pile, but I will be starting them soon, but this peek is 70 pages and is way more than a teaser.

    Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter is the first book in her new young adult series due out on March 29, 2011. Macmillan has a short excerpt on their site if you want to learn more about what is going on in Shadow Falls.

    This is an amazing book in what is already a highly addictive series. And yes, I am totally Team Lucas.

    Secrets and Shadows, the second book in the 13 to Life series was released just this week on February 15th.

    If you haven’t yet started, this short peek from Macmillan will either tide you over or tease you so much that you’ll just have to start reading. The excerpt includes the prologue and part of the first chapter.

    Teaser line: A muzzle flash tears at the inky night again and she tumbles to the earth, falling limp.

    Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel was released in August 2010. If you haven’t yet heard of or read this book, check out the short excerpt that the folks at Macmillan (St. Martin’s Griffin) have available.

    I have wanted to read this book forever but have been waiting until it’s an eBook and just discovered this very moment that it now is, FINALLY. Having just read this excerpt I think I’m going to have to readjust my TBR pile to move this very close to the top.

    Lines to die for:

    “Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you…no one.”

    Those were some of Rhode’s last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.

    The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall is available to read online free in its entirety from HarperTeen. It was released in March 2010 and is the first of the Return books. The Return: Midnight will be out this March.

    Reaper is a novella in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. If you haven’t downloaded it by now, I’d be very surprised, but just in case, as I’m taking it off the sidebar, here it is for free download from HarlequinTEEN.

    You can still download it free at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    The Iron Witch is the debut novel and the first in a wonderful new series by author Karen Mahoney. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check it out, now’s the time, as Flux has a great excerpt.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #7

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    February is a great month for new releases. Here are the books for the week of February 14th that I have ordered or am purchasing on release date.

    This week we’ve got angels, rivals, werewolves, a girl with the ability to sense dead bodies and vampires.

    Angelfire is the debut novel for author Courtney Allison Moulton. It will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover and eBook formats.

    Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 464 pages.

    Angelfire is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    I am so excited for the release of this book, both for the author, who has her launch party next week and who is a blast to follow on Twitter and on her website, and of course for the book itself, which will have some differences from the version I read.

    I have had this on my pre-order list for such a long time – even before I got a chance to read the early copy. I noticed the book during my angel craze and was so upset I had such a long wait before this book came out.

    With the number of books I read, sadly some get muddled in my aging brain the more time passes since I’ve read them, but not this book. Angelfire is a book that will definitely stand out to those who read it. Ellie’s story is very different from other Angel-themed books and the author gives readers such a wonderfully detailed look at Ellie’s history.

    Although I want to start re-reading this book again on Monday Midnight, I most likely won’t get to read it again until the following week, but can’t wait to see what changes have been made and get a chance to meet Ellie all over again.

    If you’d like to read my review, click here. (Please note that my review was based on an early eARC I received so some facts may differ from the final published version of the book.)

    Rival is the debut novel for author Sara Bennett Wealer. It will also be released in the U.S. on February 15, 2011. It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover and eBook formats.

    Published by HarperTeen the hardcover is 336 pages.

    Rival is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    This is another book I am very excited to read. It was the first book I chose for the DAC and I’ve spotlighted this back in January for my Book Watch. If you’d like to read the Goodreads description from my post or get a link to read an excerpt, click here.

    I can’t wait to start reading this book! Being best friends and rivals can only lead to trouble and I can’t wait to see what happens. I will definitely be reading Rival this week.

    Secrets and Shadows: A 13 to Life Novel by author Shannon Delany will be released on February 15, 2011 in the U.S. It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both paperback and eBook formats.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin the paperback is 320 pages.

    Secrets and Shadows is another book that I can hardly wait to read. I only recently read the first book in the series and I can’t wait to find out what happens in this installment as I was left hanging at the end of 13 to Life.

    And Russians and werewolves make for an exciting and dangerous combination.

    I had also spotlighted this for my Book Watch. Click the link if you want to read the Goodreads description, watch the trailer for the first book or get a link to Beasts and Bff’s the free short novella on Amazon.

    Desires of the Dead is the second book in the Body Finder series by author Kimberly Derting. It, too, will be released on February 15, 2011 in the U.S. and is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for pre-order in hardcover and eBook formats.

    Published by HarperCollins the hardcover is 368 pages.

    This is another book I am excited to read. I own but haven’t yet read the first book in the series, The Body Finder, but plan to do so asap. I discovered the first book right around the time I learned of this one so I decided to wait so I could read both books back-to-back.

    I’ve read the excerpts and I love the author’s writing so I cannot wait to get started on both books, which I plan to do over the next couple of weeks.

    I love books where the main character has some kind of special ability – and I’m slightly fascinated by the somewhat gruesome ability that Violet has to sense dead bodies.

    To read an excerpt of Desires of the Dead from HarperCollins, click here.

    Blue Blood is the fourth book in the Pulse series by author Kailin Gow. It will be available for early release in eBook format on February 15, 2011 and in paperback on February 22nd. It is not yet updated on Amazon for the early release and has not yet been listed for purchase on Barnes & Noble.

    Although you can pre-order the paperback from Amazon you may want to wait for the dates to update to ensure you get it as early as possible.

    Published by The EDGE, the paperback is 254 pages.

    I have really enjoyed this series so far and can’t wait to see what happens with Kalina in this next installment. The promise that this book is the “pivotal” book in the series has definitely got me intrigued.

    I plan on purchasing this in eBook format on Tuesday and hope to read it next week.

    I’ve only read the Pulse series by the author, but own a few of her other books from the Frost series and the Stoker Sisters, which I hope to read soon.

    The fifth book in the series is titled Blood Bond.

    For those who aren’t familiar with the series or author, I’ve included a brief description of Blue Blood below.

    Description from the author’s website:

    You thought you knew all about Life’s Blood and what it can do. You thought you knew what Kalina was. Now in Blue Blood, all that will change as Kalina meets her maker.  One of her vampire loves will die, another will be turned, and another will break her heart forever.

    Blue Blood is the pivotal book in the PULSE series that will change everything…

    ***

    I am sure that there are a ton of other good books releasing this week. Feel free to tell me WHAT I’M MISSING!

    (Note: Two other books releasing this week that I plan on purchasing are Outside In and One Hundred Candles, but as they aren’t yet available in eBook format I haven’t listed them in this post.)

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    Book Watch: Secrets and Shadows

    Secrets and Shadows is the second book in the 13 to Life series written by author Shannon Delany. It will be released in the U.S. on February 15, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

    It is currently available for pre-order in both formats from Amazon and as a paperback only from Barnes & Noble.

    The paperback is 320 pages and is published by St. Martin’s Griffin (a division of Macmillan).

    ***

    This is another February release I have on my watch list. I can’t wait until it’s released and hope to start reading it on release day.

    I only recently read the first book in the series, 13 to Life, and I absolutely loved it. I’m almost glad I waited because now there’s no super long wait between book one and book two.

    There were so many questions left after book one, and there are so many different directions the author can take in this book. And judging by the description, things will be heating up in this sequel. Russians and werewolves, a fiery combination, what’s not to love?

    Beasts and Bffs, the prequel short novella is still available for free at Amazon for eBook download. It is quick and cute and gives you a look at the dynamic between a few of the characters, but don’t expect any revelations or spoilers.

    Another plus is that Secrets and Shadows is a paperback release. Paperbacks are more competitively priced to match eBooks, so those folks that normally wait to get the less expensive paperback won’t have to wait for this book.

    Goodreads description:

    Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected.

    With Jess’ realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother – and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more..

    I know there’s a trailer out for Secrets and Shadows but it only really gives the release date and a book cover, more of an advert than a trailer. The trailer for the first book is much cooler (and for some reason I didn’t have it with my review of 13 to Life) so it’s here if you want to watch.

    Book trailer for 13 to Life, the first book in the series:

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