Friday, August 21, 2015

FFS ~ Curiosity Quills

Friday Featured Spotlight

Curiosity Quills Press

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 ~ Review copies were provided in exchange for honest reviews.

Author ~ Ann M. Noser
Published ~ 15 July 2014
Pages ~ 302

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble

Emma Roberts is a sophomore in college, not popular, but very smart. When her roommate drags her to a party, she meets cute Mike Carlson. Unfortunately, before they can fumble their way into a relationship, he drowns in the river on the night of his 21st birthday. Because Emma was there, she feels guilty even though she did her best to stop him from swimming. Since Emma has been seeing ghosts for years, she makes the leap to witchcraft in an attempt to bring Mike back from the dead. And the results are far from what she expects, changing her life forever. But is it for the better or worse?

Emma comes from a rich family but that embarrasses her. Plus, when she was younger and told her mom about the ghost she saw, her mom freaked and told her to never talk about things like that. So, Emma never does and ends up confused and upset about this ability she has.  She keeps to herself and reads or studies and has few friends. Ok, no friends except her roommate. That all changes when she reads The Book of Shadows and researches witchcraft in an attempt to bring back from the dead the one boy she falls for. And that’s when things get interesting. But it’s also when the book goes from being cute and at times tragic, to a bit silly and confusing. It’s still an entertaining read, but the pacing in the middle and towards the end become a bit uneven. I also didn’t understand some of the witchcraft effect that happens to Mike and the others. Plus, Mike’s insistence that Emma stop using The Book of Shadows seems kinda weird. I mean, she already saw ghosts and her spells end up being pretty powerful, but I think all Emma needs is someone to teach her how to keep from screwing up when using that power. So, while I believe she should be more careful, I think Mike was overreacting. Anyway, the characters are pretty great and I especially like Officer Walker. The next book in the series sounds like it will be a bit darker, but I look forward to reading it.

Title ~ Guild Assassin
Author ~ Berley Kerr
Published ~ 28 July 2014
Pages ~ 334

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble

Twelve-year-old Wendy Magdalena Braca’s life after her father dies isn’t the greatest, but it takes a turn for the worse after her mother is murdered, she’s convicted of the crime and sent to Greenleaf Asylum for Troubled Girls. Stuck there for years, she keeps her head down and just tries to survive. Until that horrible day she couldn’t take it anymore and her magic manifests in self-defense. Eventually she is rescued by an assassin’s guild and they teach her all about a world she knew nothing about. A world where there are humans (Cæcus), magic users (Validus) and Half-Breeds. She embraces the life and vows to find the person who murdered her mother. But first, she needs to learn everything about this strange new world and her magic which is the rarest of all. She’s the Curse Breaker.

This YA steampunk isn’t just steampunky. It’s got a heaping helping of sci-fi, suspense and fantasy with a pinch of horror tossed in. In Wendy’s world there are 522 Realms and people travel from Realm to Realm via gates. Nuclear powered, the gates are a technology that can fold space allowing jump-trams to transport people and things from one place to another, making travel and colonization of close and far distant planets a commonplace occurrence. The magic is a fascinating addition and how it works is slightly different than what I’ve read before which makes it new and fresh. The story is told from Wendy’s POV, so there’s no getting in the heads of the other characters, but they are fully-fleshed, so that’s not a problem. The world is described in wonderfully rich detail. Thankfully, the things Wendy suffers in the Asylum are left mostly to the imagination, but it’s not hard to guess what she’s been through. *shudders* The story covers nearly a decade, so there’s plenty of background info, but there is also a little bit of info dumping. Not too bad though. However, there are times that Wendy pisses me off and those are the times she goes out drinking. Come on! She’s a rare commodity and she’s going to dull her senses like that? Make herself vulnerable to an attack? I just wanted to slap her. Anyway, the ending leaves the door wide open for the next installment. I’m looking forward to seeing what Wendy does next.


  1. I liked How to Date Dead Guys it was pretty fun.

    I am guessing that Curiosity Quills doesn't want me to review for them after they sent me an email asking me cause I have tried emailing them two times and never heard back from them. :( They have some really cool books so that is a total bummer.

    1. I've had emails to them get lost in the shuffle. I think it's because they're going through some growing pains. I'll send you my contact's email addy. :)

  2. I enjoyed How To Date Dead Guys and agree the next book sounds darker.