Archive Monthly Archives: June 2019

Queer Magic with Isabel Sterling

Living in Salem, Massachusetts as an Elemental Witch might sound like a bad idea, but Hannah would disagree. Keeping her secret and avoiding her ex-girlfriend (who just so happens to be in her coven) isn’t easy, but overall, life in Salem isn’t too bad. That is until a possible Blood Witch begins to attack Hannah’s coven.

“I don’t even remember what I was doing, but all of a sudden I had this image in my head of this really sarcastic teenager who was working in a witch shop,” Isabel Sterling said about her inspiration for These Witches Don’t Burn. “Her overall attitude was, ‘Ugh, these guys are posers. I’m a real witch.’”

Read our full interview with Isabel Sterling of  ​These Witches Don't Burn in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales magazine. By Kelsey Bjork.

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Lighting the Darkness with Amber Smith

Some books whisk us away to fantasy worlds where we can forget our own reality, while others shine light into the darkest corners of our current landscape. Amber Smith specializes in the latter. With her treatment of sexual assault in The Way I Used To Be and domestic violence in The Last To Let Go, Smith stares down some tough topics. Too many of us experience circumstances that require the grit shown by her characters and, as necessary as escapism can be, we also need the validation of seeing the harder truths of our lives reflected in stories imbued with hope and healing.

Smith’s newest release, a contemporary novel titled Something Like Gravity, features two protagonists—Chris and Maia—who are each finding their way through challenging situations, while figuring out who they are as individuals and who they can be together.

Read our full interview with Amber Smith of  Something Like Gravity in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales magazine. By Juliet White.

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Queer Characters in YA Genre Fiction

Feel like your life is would be a little bit brighter if it included a lesbian werewolf and some kickboxing drag-queens? Me, too. But you may not expect to find these characters in the pages of your favorite fantasy, mystery, or historical novels. That’s because queer representation in genre fiction has consistently lagged behind contemporary.

There will always be a need for coming out stories and real-life portrayals of queer characters in YA lit. With releases like Mark Oshiro’s Anger Is A Gift, The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, and Claire Kann’s If It Makes You Happy, publishing is starting to address the dearth of stories that feature the intersection of gender identity and sexual orientation with various forms of bias.

The last few years have also seen an increase in LGBTQAI representation in YA genre fiction. So, if you’re seeking books that better reflect your own experiences or that are simply more inclusive, check out the following fantastic reads:

Read more in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales. By Juliet White.

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Fiction Food June 2019

Recipes inspired by Isabel Sterling's These Witches Don't Burn.

“[…] fried eggs, fruit, and a small mountain of bacon load up each plate. […] Gemma reaches across the table and takes the jar [of raspberry jam] from my mom. […] I lift the lid, revealing my favorite homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Recipes inspired by Amber Smith's Something Like Gravity.

“These were foods I’d never tried, and had barely even heard of, except on TV. […] Super-Loaded Veggie Ramen. […] “Okay, then I’m marrying the Vegan Taco Flatbread,” he added.”

Get the recipes in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales magazine. Created by Elle Jauffret, @fictionfoodchef.

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Imprinted on Skin by Chii Rempel

This month's photo essay is from Chii Rempel of @FindingBookland. She creates wonderful works of body art inspired by literature. 

Check out the photo spread in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales.

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Around the World June 2019

GAY'S THE WORD, UNITED KINGDOM

As ebooks and other online sales providers push brick-and-mortar stores out of business, the LGBT community faces shut down of bookstores that also serve as gathering places.

Gay’s The Word (London) remains open and provides a reminder to shop small. Independent bookstores do more than sell books, they champion authors and provide a community resource that brings people together.

Read more about this book store in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales.

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Share Your Shelf with Isabel Sterling

Each month we ask our featured authors to share their favorite bookish items. Here's a few of Isabel's:

1. “Writing “Helpers” – they may slow down the process more than they aid it, but I couldn’t imagine writing a novel without my two cats (Oliver and December) and my Beagle-mix, Lily by my side.

2. Scrivener. I write and revise all my novels in Scrivener. I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but I find it invaluable for staying organized while I write. Seeing each scene as its own separate file helps keep me from getting overwhelmed.

3. Notebook. Even though I jot down story notes in my phone while I’m away from home, I always have a dedicated notebook for each story idea. I can’t do anything too fancy (I’m always too nervous to fill a pretty journal!), so I go with the simple lined notebooks from Staples.

Read her whole list and check out the interview in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales. 

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If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , sign up for our newsletter! Then, confirm your email address (be sure to check your spam folder). Once you click the link in your welcome email, you'll get regular news from Curiositales, including notifications when the latest magazine is published. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to download and read.

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Share Your Shelf with Amber Smith

Each month we ask our featured authors to share their favorite bookish items. Here's a few of Amber's:

1. This is not technically a bookish thing, but when I’m writing I am surrounded by my animals (my partner and I have two dogs and three cats (all rescues), and so they are a big part of my bookish life. Here is our mischievous one-eyed kitty, Lou, camping out on my laptop.

2. I receive great writerly presents from my friends, and this t-shirt (above) is one of my favorites.

3. I am big on taking writing advice from authors who’ve been there, and these are some of the best books about writing that I’ve found (along with my plethora of composition notebooks – my favorite thing to write in).

Read her whole list and check out the interview in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales. 

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If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , sign up for our newsletter! Then, confirm your email address (be sure to check your spam folder). Once you click the link in your welcome email, you'll get regular news from Curiositales, including notifications when the latest magazine is published. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to download and read.

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Meet @fantasticbooksandwheretofindem

Tell us about yourself and why you bookstagram:

I started reviewing books on Goodreads a few years ago, and when I discovered Bookstagram I found yet another outlet to promote my favourite underrated books. It’s the perfect place to connect with authors and fellow readers and it’s a major inspiration for me. I feel right at home in this community that’s so open, diverse and dedicated. But it’s also a place where I can promote books that deal with important topics like feminism, racism, homophobia, and mental health. Books are so powerful and influential because they can shape you as a person. They definitely shaped me. There are so many brave and moving stories out there, and if I can make the world a little kinder and accepting by reading and talking about what I read, then that’s what I will do.

Read the whole feature on Kai from @fantasticbooksandwheretofindem in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales!

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Meet @xreadingsolacex

Tell us about yourself and why you bookstagram:

I discovered the online book community at the age of 12 and created my own booktube channel two years later, all of which came to fruition because of Cassandra Clare’s work. Since then, I have grown into an advocate who advocates for representation of underrepresented identities in media. I am here in the book community because I have found the friendliest community of people here, I hope to pursue writing as a career, I want to continue to grow as an advocate and speak up for issues I believe in, and, most importantly, I want to share my love of reading with those who appreciate it.

Read the whole feature on Kav from @xreadingsolacex in the June 2019 issue of Curiositales!

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