Friday, June 28, 2019

Heart of the Curiosity Review and Behind the Scenes

Heart of the Curiosity

About the Book:

Title: Heart of the Curiosity | Author: H.L. Burke | Publisher: Uncommon Universes Press | Pages: 240 | Genre: Steampunk Fantasy | Recommended Ages: Young Adult and Up

My Review:

This is a Steampunk Fantasy for Young Adults, but adults will enjoy it too! There's mystery, danger, and suspense. It's witty with a bit of romance and some bantering. It also has some deeper themes.

The story follows the life of big sister Leo. She and her sister Muse live and work at The Curiosity, a grand old theater. There's even a snail circus!

Everyone is born with a magical knack. Some knacks are quirkier than others. Leo has the rare ability to manipulate emotions and her sister, who is a dancer on stage, can levitate. But tragedy strikes at the theater and the sisters' futures are no longer certain. There's sabotage, blackmail, and a mystery that needs solving. Where is the mythical heart? Can Leo and Paxton, the heir to The Curiosity, find it in time to save the show?

Disclosure: I received an ARC. This is my honest and voluntary review.


Purchase links:

Behind the Scenes on One of the
Book's Themes by H.L. Burke:

Heart of the Curiosity is my 26th book. In the five years I’ve been writing professionally, I’ve tried out a lot of different character types. Charming rogues, quirky inventors, princesses with abandonment issues, the occasional cat - However, the lead character of Heart of the Curiosity, Leodora “Leo” Danior, was possibly the most challenging one I’ve ever taken on. She’s a tough cookie ready to crumble, a suit of armor with a broken body inside.

When Leo was eight, her acrobat mother died leaving Leo alone with her younger sister in the care of a cruel carnival owner. Unwanted and abused, Leo put everything into two goals:
     1. Keep her beloved little sister Muse safe at any cost.
     2. Escape to a better life.
Often using herself as a shield, Leo kept to the first. When Leo was 14 (and Muse 12), she achieved the second, running from the carnival to the safety of The Curiosity, where Muse started her dream job as a dancer.

Leo believes a lot of nonsense about herself. She considers her whole purpose keeping care of Muse, with herself being less than an afterthought. Muse is prettier, more talented, and friendlier. People like Muse. Few people like Leo, least of all herself. With her self-esteem damaged beyond repair, Leo did what she needed to survive: she kicked her sense of self-worth to the side like a broken toy and doubled down on her determination to live completely for her sister.

But little sisters grow up, and with Muse finding success on the stage--and potentially love with a handsome young librarian--Leo’s adrift, lost without a purpose.

Leo doesn’t like that much.

Leo spends a lot of time talking herself down. Not always consciously. There’s a subconscious acceptance that she’ll always be unwanted and lesser than those around her. She’s not, of course. Leo is smart and strong with a sharp tongue and a determined spirit, but it takes a lot for her to see through her past to any sort of potential future.

Taking Leo from broken to ready to heal was the hardest thing I wrote in this book. The other things--the snail circus, the treasure hunt, the puzzles--were a lot of fun, but Leo taxed me. However, getting her to a happily ever after was worth it because every person has value, and people are more than their trauma. She’s a survivor, and I wanted her to fight through it for others who might likewise see themselves as “less than” for whatever reason, to show that she can find her happiness and learn to accept love.

To see how she gets to the end of her journey, though, and the many steps and pitfalls along the way, you’ll need to read Heart of the Curiosity.

Check out my blog post,

Heidi Burke and Christina Morley

Check out my recent
author interview of H.L. Burke!

Dragon's Debt - Book 2
Dragon's Rival - Book 3

About the Author:
H.L. Burke


Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.



Read More

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Flowers and Cats with a Linky


These are my agapanthus flowers (Lily of the Nile) and our cats.












***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

Farmstall and Country Roads



*********************

My Latest Book Posts:


Fate of Dragons and Windsworn



Follow Me on Instagram!



What I'm reading ~ Heart of the Curiosity by H.L. Burke ~ This is a Steampunk Fantasy for Yound Adults, but adults will enjoy it too! There's mystery, danger, and suspense. It's witty with a little romance and some bantering. The story follows the life of big sister Leo. She and her sister Muse live and work at The Curiosity, a grand old theatre. There's even a snail circus! Everyone is born with a magical knack. Some knacks are quirkier than others. Leo has the rare ability to manipulate emotions and her sister, who is a dancer on stage, can levitate. But tragedy strikes at the theatre and the sisters' futures are no longer certain. There's sabotage, blackmail, and a mystery that needs solving. Where is the mythical heart? Can Leo and Paxton, the heir to The Curiosity, find it in time to save the show? #steampunk #fantasy #fiction #adventure #romance #mystery #suspense #youngadult #bookreview #snailrace #HeartoftheCuriosity @burkesdragons
A post shared by Tina Morley (@tinarobmorley) on

*********************

*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a weekly Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.



How to use the linky widget:
First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it! This is a weekly linky party, so make sure you're visiting the latest one.


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Fate of Dragons and Windsworn

My June Summer Reads:
Fate of Dragons by Alisha Klapheke and
Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway


Every month two books are chosen to be read in the Indie Fantasy Addicts Facebook group. The idea is to introduce us to new books and to get us discussing them. I might not always read the two books chosen every month, but I happened to own both of these and so I made sure to fit time into reading them! They are also worth bonus points for the Summer Reading Challenge that I'm participating in. I will keep you posted on what I'm reading and don't forget to follow me on Instagram!

Fate of Dragons


Purchase Fate of Dragons on Amazon

My Review:

Enter an exciting world where those living on land are at risk from those in the sea. Meet Vahly, the Earth Queen and the last remaining human, living among the dragon shifters. She must find her magic before it's too late. The Sea Queen wants to drown the whole world with only one island left to go and dragons and elves standing in her way, unless Vahly can find her magic in time to help turn the tide. The dragons have given her a home, but they don't know how to tap into her earth magic. Dragons don't trust elves, but Vahly is desperate. When she stumbles upon an elf who is close to death and missing some of his memories, she's willing to risk her life to help him.

This book has a lot of fabulous elements to it including wonderful characters and great chemistry between Vahly and her new ally. The pace keeps moving, although there were a couple of slower scenes, and the plot is interesting. The descriptions are usually good, but a few times they felt forced. I also felt that the dialogue between Vahly and Amona toward the end was too thorough, and to keep so many dragons fed on one large island didn't seem possible. I would be happy to read more in the series as Vahly continues her search for unleashing her magic with the swoonworthy elf at her side!

Windsworn


Purchase Windsworn on Amazon

My Review:

This is a gripping story about a reluctant heroine who is thrust into a life-changing adventure and faced with tough decisions. The characters are interesting and you never know exactly who is behind the attacks at the gryphon mountain barracks. There are certainly some unexpected moments. Most of the time it's fast paced and only slows down when three of our heroes are faced with challenges inside the catacombs. That was the only part that made it feel like it was for younger readers. I also came across a number of little typos, but they're easily overlooked. I enjoyed Windsworn so much that I read it in two days!

Follow Indie Fantasy Addicts on Facebook



Read More

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Flowers and Guineafowl in My Garden and a Linky

Roses

Things I see in my garden daily are flowers, guineafowl, and peahens. My cats go into the garden too, but I'll share pics of them next time!



Miniature Roses and Plumbago

Plumbago

Delosperma

Guineafowl, Peahen, Plumbago and Palms

Bougainvillea, Peahen and Guineafowl

Guineafowl Feathers

***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

Milkshakes at Nuy on the Hill



*********************

My Latest Book Posts:

Kitsuneko



IFA Summer Reading Challenge


Follow Me on Instagram!



A post shared by Tina Morley (@tinarobmorley) on

*********************

*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.


How to use the linky widget:

First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Kitsuneko: A Companion Novella

Kitsuneko


About the Book:

Title: Kitsuneko: A Companion Novella | Author: C.S. Johnson | Pages: 61 | Genre: Christian Fantasy

Book Description:

Trouble is brewing in the realms beyond the rainbow... Kitsuneko has always done her best to honor her duty. As a fox-cat changeling, she has been conscripted into slavery by King Dario and Queen Arianna to serve as the surrogate for Princess Cari, their daughter who was kidnapped seventeen years ago.But when Kiro, Cari's younger brother and the heir to the kingdom, proclaims his love for her, Kitsuneko is torn between her duty to the kingdom and her desire for the virtuous prince. As Kiro's kisses leave her breathless, Kitsuneko finds herself in mortal danger. For the peace that Toulacoeur enjoys, maintained through the blessing of Kleon, the Unicorn Guardian, is at risk, and to maintain their rule, the king and queen have arranged for Kiro to marry Ariella, a Warlord's daughter from a tribe of Gryphon Riders. Can Kitsuneko and Kiro find a way to be together and keep the kingdom's peace? Or is their love destined to only lead to destruction?

Kitsuneko is A Companion Novella to The Realms Beyond the Rainbow, a fantasy romance adventure from award-winning, genre-hopping author C. S. Johnson.

Purchase on Amazon:
Kindle Pre-Order $0.99!

My Review:

This is a good prequel to an exciting new series. It has some Christian themes. I love the concept of the realms and Kitsuneko the cat-fox changeling. The story has all the right elements of a fantasy romance, but just when I thought it was going to get more intense, it lightened up and came to an end. I want more! I'm looking forward to reading further in the series.

Non-Fiction by C.S. Johnson:



About the Author:
C.S. Johnson

C.S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.


Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Please Note: The pre-order price was correct at the time of posting. Please check, as the price will change as soon as it's available on Amazon Kindle.

Read More

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sisters and Ziggy at the Beach and a Linky


We were at the beach at my in-laws' over the long Easter weekend and I'm still sharing photos from that visit, but these will be the last for now until we go again. The previous week I shared photos of us at the beach with their pets. Today's pics are of the girls and Ziggy. I've got other things that I want to share in the coming weeks and be sure to check out my travelogue on 1camera1mom











***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

The Watershed and Waterfront, Cape Town




*********************

My Latest Book Posts:


IFA Summer Reading Challenge


Follow Me on Instagram!


*********************

*** If you want to comment or join the linky, then please make sure this page's permalink loads as http and not https! Also, my blog is hosted by Blogger, which uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. And, it's best viewed in Google Chrome. ***

*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up any family friendly post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
Please load page as http and not https.


How to use the linky widget:

First make sure that you load this page as http and not https if you want to see the linky. Type in the name of your blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

© 2011 Amanda's Books and More, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena