Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Featured Spotlight ~ Curiosity Quills

At Curiosity Quills Press, we believe a book is a portal to another world, a break from reality that frees both mind and spirit. We want to bring a little piece of that magic to every life we touch with the written word.

W. Somerset Maugham once said, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”

Welcome to a world of magic and dragons, of nightmares, vampires, zombies, and aliens. We are the trusty sidekicks, the parallel universe of dreams, the things that go bump in the night.

We are writers helping writers.

We are innovators.

We are escapists.

We are literary marauders.

Everyone needs a place to escape, let Curiosity Quills be yours.

*Books source ~ Many thanks to Curiosity Quills for providing review copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Author ~ Amy Fecteau
Published ~ 9 June 2013
Genre ~ Paranormal
Pages ~ 386

My Rating ~ 2 bites and a nibble out of 5

Mysterious 28-yr-old Matheus Taylor is living his life they way he wants when he is abruptly murdered. Quin, a 1700-yr-old vampire uses Matheus to get an artifact then callously murders him in a filthy alley. Well, technically Quin turned Matheus into a vampire, but in order to do that he had to kill Matheus first. And Matheus never lets Quin forget that he was murdered and turned against his will. However, Matheus has a little problem. He’s attracted to Quin even though he swears he’s not gay. So, not only does he have to get used to a new way of living, he has to confront things about himself he’s buried deeper than the Mariana Trench. While he alternates burying his head in the sand and reaching self enlightenment the vampire world is under attack and his past comes back with a vengeance. Will he, Quin and their friends survive the war to come?

The title drew me in because I am so not a fan of that crap that is Twilight. After reading the blurb I figured this would be a good vampire story to, um, sink my teeth into. And to a point, it is. I love the humor and snarkiness in this story. Whenever Matheus isn’t whining like a little girly baby he is pretty damn funny. Quin is sexy and a saint to put up with him. Honestly I both hated and loved Matheus. I can’t decide if he was more annoying or more entertaining. He may have the distinction of being the only character I’ve ever read that is 50/50 with me. When he’s being a snarky smartass I love him. His observations and the way he interacts with his world is so entertaining that when he’s being unreasonably stubborn, digging in his heels only to be contrary and whining, whining, whining it kills me that I just can’t stand him.

The writing is very good and the plot flows fairly smoothly with only a few bumps in the road, but what really did it in for me is the abrupt ending. It was like how I feel when I ride a roller coaster. I’m going up, up, up, clankityclankityclank, I’m cresting the hill and then…whoosh! Right over the top and dropping straight down. Only with this book, that was it. The drop and then nothing. The end. Where’s the end?! I was massively confused. And mad. It was only after I looked around on the internet to see what was up that I realized the book in my hands was only a portion of the story. It’s apparently only Volume One and I didn’t see that at the bottom of the blurb. It doesn’t say so in the title. I loathe abrupt endings. If I had known the whole story wasn’t out there yet I would have waited. Now, I can go to the website and read a new chapter every Sunday (there are now 41 additional chapters from where my book stopped), but I don’t have time for that and I have no idea when it will be done. So, I’ll wait until the book is truly done, complete, fini before I go back to it. 

I also need to mention the editing in this one needs some work. A few mistakes I can ignore, but constant mistakes need to be mentioned. The biggest problems were missing or duplicated words. If a fine tooth comb was used then a finer toothed one is needed.

Series ~ The Actuator, #1
Published ~ 13 August 2013
Genre ~ Sci-Fi
Pages ~ 278

My Rating ~ 4 bites out of 5

Red McLauren is a Key Hunter and when he’s told to escort a group of Machine Monks out to survey some rocks when The Actuator is getting ready to fire up an event he’s uneasy. Something feels off and when the event happens and everything goes haywire he ends up being a leader even if he doesn’t feel like one. Someone has sabotaged the dampeners and the entire world has changed and not for the better. Eighteen confirmed Machine Monks created pockets of alternate realities and four more unconfirmed means the world is in chaos and people are dying by the millions, possibly by the billions. Those from the base are the only ones who know what happened and they need to put the world back before humanity is wiped out. A task easier stated than done.

I can’t recall having read a book that has a machine that can alter reality in the physical sense. I mean, completely change the world into whatever reality parameters the person has selected. The Machine Monks are addicted to the Actuator and get a high from when it substitutes reality for their own. Each Monk has a favorite genre, be it horror, steampunk, historical romance, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, etc, so when they feed 20 or so fantasies into the Actuator and the dampeners (which restrict the change to a small testing area) fail those fantasies become realities all over the world. It’s chaos and death. The thought of having to find the keys in each reality in order to change it back exhausted me and I wasn’t even one of the people doing the rescuing. :D

Well-written and fast moving the story made me feel as if I was really there. The characters are great even the ones I wanted to bash over the head, but I have to say that I love Red best. There’s something about a reluctant hero, one who never really thought it would come down to him that I really like and Red is very likeable. The multiple POVs really help with the vast scope of the story and make the experience just that more rich. The thought of the world being carved into different sections of fantasies made real just boggles my mind. It got me thinking…if I was a Machine Monk, what would my slice of the world be like? Uh, oh…I have a feeling it would be a very naughty world indeed. *fans self* All-in-all a solid sci-fi adventure.


  1. Oh yes I loath being confused and wondering what the heck happened Carol. Great reviews as always.

  2. Fractured Earth sounds really interesting. I don't know what my slice of the world would be like...

  3. Even though I'm a fan of "that crap that is Twilight" and those modern, sparkly vampires :D, I also like the stories with vampires in general. They are my fav creatures of the night, whether they sparkle or not, but too bad the book ended that way, because it sounded more like my type of read than the second book with Machine Monks. Either way, thanks for sharing :)

    1. The installments are on the website. You can read it up to the current chapter if you're so inclined. :) I have to say, I loved the vampire part of the story and the humor is my kind of stuff. :D