Hey Guys! It has been over a month since my last blog post. My apologies, but as I mentioned before, I am working on a very big project. A baby! I have about 9 weeks left to go and likely won’t be blogging much in the upcoming months, but please don’t forget about me. 🙂 Even though I have been quiet, I promise I have been reading quite a bit. Most of the below books haven’t been released yet, so you can pre-order them only if you are interested. I will re-blog them once they are officially released (if I can still function with a newborn).  As always, thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for these advanced reader copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Ten Dead Comedians: A Murder Mystery by [Van Lente, Fred]

Pre-Order for $12.99 (Kindle) on Amazon Release Date: July 11, 2017

http://amzn.to/2r8RSQ0

My Review:

This is the perfect throwback to classic murder mysteries with an updated twist! I loved reading this whodunit. I found myself trying to replace the 10 comics in this book with real life comics that matched the personalities in the book which was fun. The premise of this story is an updated version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. A group of people, in this case famous and semi-famous comedians and TV/radio personalities who all have a connection to ultra famous Dustin Walker are invited to his private island. He has asked them all to come with a promise of a project that could further or revitalize their careers. Each has their own motive for agreeing to go and each has their own history with Dustin. Once they reach the island, it quickly becomes clear that this is not a vacation and it certainly does not promise to end with a boost to anyone’s career. The guests find out upon arrival (via video) that their host Dustin intends to kill all of them, but not before diving off a cliff to his death. One by one people start to die in crazy gruesome ways and the finger pointing begins. Who is murdering everyone? Is someone among them the killer? I really enjoyed this book. I flew through it and finished it quickly because I was dying (no pun intended) to see how it would end. I could really see this as a movie!

Synopsis:

Fred Van Lente’s brilliant debut is both an homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire.

As the story opens, nine comedians of various acclaim are summoned to the island retreat of legendary Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker. The group includes a former late-night TV host, a washed-up improv instructor, a ridiculously wealthy “blue collar” comic, and a past-her-prime Vegas icon. All nine arrive via boat to find that every building on the island is completely deserted. Marooned without cell phone service or wifi signals, they soon find themselves being murdered one by one. But who is doing the killing, and why?

A darkly clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre, Ten Dead Comedians is a marvel of literary ventriloquism, with hilarious comic monologues in the voice of every suspect. It’s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you’ll never see coming!

Seven Days of Us: A Novel by [Hornak, Francesca]

This lovely book doesn’t come out until October 2017, but you should pre-order it so you don’t forget about it!

$12.99 (Kindle) on Amazon http://amzn.to/2srYInG

My Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Advanced Read Copy in exchange for an honest review.

What a fun sweet novel! I loved this book. This family dramedy is just what I was looking for. The Birch Family is getting ready to spend their first Christmas together in years. And the best part about it is, no one can leave the house for 7 days! This sounds odd I’m sure but the family is under quarantine. The oldest daughter in the family Olivia is a doctor who has been off treating a highly contagious disease called Haag. She fell in love with another doctor (Sean) while she was away and now Sean has been admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with Haag. She doesn’t want her family or colleagues to know she was in such close contact with Sean, but when she starts coming down with some Haag symptoms, she may not be able to hide it for long. Since she will be returning to her family home while she is in quarantine, the rest of the family has agreed to join her. Her younger sister Phoebe has just gotten engaged to George who may not be who he seems. Not in the “is he a crazy serial killer?” way but more so in a “maybe he isn’t being honest with who he is and who is attracted to way”. Andrew Birch, the head of the family recently found out he fathered a son 30 years ago when he had a one night stand while working on a journalism story in a war zone. Aside from the fact that he fathered a son without knowing, he had been in the early stages of dating his wife Emma when he had the one night stand. Jesse the son he never knew he had is on a mission to finally meet his father and won’t stop even when Andrew ignores his attempts to reach him. Emma the mom of the girls and wife to Andrew has her own secret as well. She has been recently diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t want to ruin Christmas with her family so she is keeping the secret to herself. As with any family stuck in close quarters, secrets don’t stay hidden long and drama quickly ensues. This story is heartwarming and touching. Great book!

Synopsis:

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays…

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

Twelve Days: A Novel by [Barnes, Steven]Pre-Order for $12.99 (Kindle) on Amazon Release Date is June 27, 2017

http://amzn.to/2r8vE0R

My Review:

This story fell a bit short for me. I really wanted to feel the danger that the world seemed to be in and that part of the story seemed unfinished. I appreciate that the story focused on a single mom and her love of her children. There was good character development and I really rooted for the main characters. I enjoyed the sort of weird supernatural element to the story but did feel that at times if was a little but too out there. This was a fun easy read and I enjoy the ride all in all even if I felt like there were parts I didn’t love.

Synopsis:

A paranormal thriller from master storyteller Steven Barnes: A broken family struggles to hold itself together against a plot to unleash global genocide in Twelve Days

Around the world, leaders and notorious criminals alike are mysteriously dying. A terrorist group promises a series of deaths within two months. And against the backdrop of the apocalypse, the lives of a small shattered family and a broken soldier are transformed in the bustling city of Atlanta.

Olympia Dorsey is a journalist and mother, with a cynical teenage daughter and an autistic son named Hannibal, all trying to heal from a personal tragedy. Across the street, Ex–Special Forces soldier Terry Nicolas and his wartime unit have reunited Stateside to carry out a risky heist that will not only right a terrible injustice, but also set them up for life—at the cost of their honor. Terry and the family’s visit to an unusual martial arts exhibition brings them into contact with Madame Gupta, a teacher of singular skill who offers not just a way for Terry to tap into mastery beyond his dreams, but also for Hannibal to transcend the limits of his condition. But to see these promises realized, Terry will need to betray those with whom he fought and bled.

Meanwhile, as the death toll gains momentum and society itself teeters on the edge of collapse, Olympia’s fragile clan is placed in jeopardy, and Terry comes to understand the terrible price he must pay to prevent catastrophe.

Pre-Order for $19.54 (Hard Cover) on Amazon Release Date: November 17, 2017

http://amzn.to/2rfJ9zU

My Review:

Unfortunately this book was a miss for me. I enjoyed that it was a short story, but the lack of dialogue and character development really threw me. Some people will enjoy that the relative anonymity makes the story relatable as if it could happen to anyone, but I really enjoy meeting characters and immersing myself in their lives by getting to know them better. That helps me care about their stories and want to continue reading. I skimmed through this book because I did not feel a connection to anyone.

Synopsis:

The End We Start From is strange and powerful, and very apt for these uncertain times. I was moved, terrified, uplifted – sometimes all three at once. It takes skill to manage that, and Hunter has a poet’s understanding of how to make each word count.”―Tracy Chevalier

Pre-empted by publishers around the world within days of the 2016 London Book Fair, The End We Start From marks the arrival of Megan Hunter, a dazzling and unique literary talent. Hunter’s debut is a searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that’s familiar.

As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place. The story traces fear and wonder, as the baby grows, thriving and content against all the odds.

Written with poise and poeticism, The End We Start From is an indelible and elemental debut―a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.

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