Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Thirteen for Dinner by Denise Daisy

Thirteen for Dinner
by Denise Daisy
YA Mystery / Time Travel
Published Feb 1, 2013
*Ebook obtained directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Averie Cooke is bribed to sit in as the fourteenth guest at an exclusive dinner party, in order to rescue the other attendees from bad luck. But it’s Averie who needs rescuing when all hell begins to break loose.

Averie Cooke has never set foot on the old Faulkner plantation. The macabre history surrounding it is what keeps her away; not to mention everyone says the place is haunted. A hundred and fifty years ago Lunar Wilson was hung there. His lifeless body dangled in the breeze along with the gray Spanish moss. Later that same night, the petite southern belle, Emily Faulkner wrapped a thick rope around her delicate neck and joined her lover in the afterlife. Legend says all hell broke loose after that. Unaware that their only daughter was hanging dead up in the cupola, Emily’s parents continued on with their festivities, gorging themselves on prime rib, and guzzling expensive wine. They were pretty drunk by the time the Wilson boys burst inside the house slinging their hatchets, vindicating their brother’s murder. They decapitated James Faulkner, his socialite wife, Elizabeth and dismembered all eleven dinner guest. The massacre was the bloodiest ever recorded.

So why does Averie agree to attend a dinner party in the same mansion where the massacre took place? She needs the money that’s why. But, she gets much more than a paycheck when she and another mysterious guest transports back to the year 1859, exactly one month before the gruesome event. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers the only way back home is to stop the murders. But can she put her fears aside long enough to change the past and find life in the place she fears the most?

Thirteen for Dinner is a page turning thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat one minute, laughing out loud the next, and crying while you contemplate the meaning of life. Dealing with issues such as racism, slavery, hatred, and fear you’ll discover the only weapon that has the power to damage them all is love.

Grab Your Copy:

Joining the ranks of best-selling authors, Denise Daisy is described as one of the purest storytellers of all time; pulling of romance, suspense and a touch of fantasy, all in the same piece. Denise’s novels include, The Secrets of Moonshine, Haytham The Secret in the Rubble, both books are a part of her popular Moonshine Series. The third installment The Storyteller’s Secret is due out in 2013.
The Haret is the first book in The Haret Series, and, Thirteen for Dinner.
She lives in San Diego with her youngest daughter Journey. She free-lances as a hairstylist and make-up artist. She is very active in the community, directing and teaching for the national CYT, children’s theater. During her free time she enjoys hanging out with all four of her daughters, Autumn, Brittany, Kendall and Journey.
Connect With Denise:   Goodreads    Wesbite  

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this novel but I was drawn in immediately. I'm blown away. I couldn't stop & completely read the entire novel in one sitting. I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole along with Averie. Just.. Wow. An emotional tale of being courageous when you feel you're the biggest scaredy cat around, facing things head on because you know what is right in your heart, and letting yourself love even though its doomed for loss.

This novel is unlike any that I've read. When it comes to the possibility of time traveling and such, you have to stop thinking so hard about HOW it's possible and just go with it. There are things that aren't explained because the "how" isn't as important as "what's going to happen next." If you're someone who can accept that something is just happening and not worry about how it's actually happening, then you'll love this book.

Again, the same concept applies to one of the main characters: Quillan. He's there and HOW he's there is really...crazy. I had to NOT think about the HOW he was there and just accept the fact that he is there and I loved him. LOL If you analyze every facet of the novels you're reading, you probably will highly dislike this. I, however, was fine with it. I just had to open my mind and stop thinking about how he actually got there.

I'm a sucker for old tales about old homes - living in Louisiana, I love visiting the old plantation homes and hearing stories related to those who lived and worked there intrigue me. The fact that Averie ends up sucked into a horrible time where people were property struggling for freedom kept me glued to the pages. It's both heartbreaking and heartwarming - heartbreaking because of the struggle for freedom that individuals and their families were suffering; heartwarming because you actually see the side where others were trying to help save them and give them their freedom. Working the underground railroad and helping families try to reach out and grab their freedom was such an emotional part of this novel. I wanted to jump in the story and help. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

All of the characters in the novel are fabulous and I really enjoyed the suspense involved with stopping the actual murders from happening. There were a few unexpected twists that threw me for a loop but they weren't bad.

Now, the ending. Oh man... heartbreaking and sad and...and...and...beautiful. I know, totally contradicting myself here. But, if you read it, you'll understand where I'm coming from. I can't explain it fully because it would ruin it for you...but be prepared. Ha. :)

Now, overall, I enjoyed this story. It's a solid 4 for me - unlike any other novel I've read and if it was a series, I'd be buying book two now.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 2 Stars - I think it could be better. Love the colors and the significance, but if I saw it sitting on the shelf, I'd walk right by it.
Characters: 4 Stars
Plot: 4 Stars
Climax: 5 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars


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