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.

© 2011 Amanda's Books and More, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena