2018 August Curiositales Magazine with Sara Raasch and Annie Sullivan

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CONTENTS THE HIGHLIGHTS

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@james_trevino

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EXPLORING NEW

YA AUTHORS AND FILM

RAPSCALLIONS

Interview with Sara Raasch of These Rebel Waves

Young Adult lit authors are bringing change to Hollywood

A look at the bad boys (and girls) we love to love

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PERSPECTIVES

WHEN FANTASY

MEETS REALITY Interview with Annie Sullivan of A Touch of Gold

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ROGUES AND

DIY MAP ROSES

A PIRATE’S LIFE

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle your way to a beautiful bouquet of roses

Cosplayer Lady Aurora shows off her fierce adventure style



CONTENTS 09 Editor’s Letter

A note from the editor. 11 Contributors Learn more about this month’s writers, photographers, and crafters. 12 Giving Back Learn more about this month’s charity. 14 Exploring New Perspectives Sara Raasch of These Rebel Waves. 22 Sara Raasch | Share Your Shelf Sara shares her favorite goodies. 26 Ask Ashley Our monthly bookish advice column. 27 Reader Mail Share your thoughts and opinions. 28 Seeking Contributors Like what you’re reading? Join our team! 30 YA Authors are Revolutionizing the Film Industry A look at YA’s role in Hollywood. @dreamingpages 35 The Rogues and Rapscallions of 96 Flash Fiction YA Lit Last month’s winner announced, and this Pirates, vampires, and more. month’s theme. 40 When Fantasy Meets Reality 98 A Pirate’s Life Annie Sullivan of A Touch of Gold. Photo Essay featuring Lady Aurora. 48 Annie Sullivan | Share Your Shelf 106 Escape to Pirate Island Annie’s tour of bookish items. by Niamh Murphy 52 Bookstagram Creators Chapter One preview. Check out these awesome readers. 116 August New Releases 88 DIY Map Roses A crafty tutorial. 118 Around the World

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FROM THE EDITOR

Letter From The Editor

Since childhood, we’re subconsciously trained to equate summertime with travel. I always get antsy in the summer and dream of far off lands. This month my conversations with Sara Raasch and Annie Sullivan further fueled my wanderlust. Both of them have novels coming out this month containing epic adventures. If I can’t get away for awhile physically, at least I can travel along with their heroines. As heat waves rise across the globe, and many of us are enjoying the last sweet weeks of summer, I hope that you can take a moment to enjoy These Rebel Waves or A Touch of Gold. Even better, take these books with you on your irl adventures and share with us all where the wind blows you. Gillian St. Clair Editor-In-Chief CURIOSITALES

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CURIOSITALES New York, New York; USA

EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gillian St. Clair CONTRIBUTORS Kelsey Bjork, Linh Truong, Juliet White, Jade a.ka. Lady Aurora, Claire Armstrong, Niamh Murphy, Kelly Dun

MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Vipul Kuchhal

ONLINE Curiositales is a digital monthly magazine. We also engage readers with a free newsletter. For your regular dose of all things bookish, subscribe at www.curiositales.com

COPYRIGHT Copyright 2018 by Curiositales Magazine. All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in review.

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16-year-old American Asian content creator hailing from the Pacific Northwest.

JADE K LADY AURORA A cosplayer with a passion for fashion modeling and photography.

NIAMH MURPHY A historian and novelist specialising in adventure fiction with lesbian main characters. JULIET WHITE A writer with an obsession for all things library.

CLAIRE ARMSTRONG Crafter, blogger, and upcycler.

CONTRIBUTORS

LINH TRUONG

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GIVING BACK Every month you read, you're giving back. Curiositales donates 10% of every purchase to a nonprofit. Check out this month's organization. 12

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Creating a world is so expansive; you can’t possibly get all of the details down before you start writing it.

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u is a fighter, Vex is a pirate, and Ben is a prince. In a world of magic and betrayal, it is up to them to discover the truth as they seek to bring peace to their world. But what will their journeys, and hope for peace, cost them?

EXPLORING NEW PERSPECTIVES Interview by Gillian St. Clair Written by Kelsey Bjork

Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series is back with a duology, a new world, and amazing new characters. Her new fantasy novel, These Rebel Waves, follows the story of three people all seeking peace in a world that is still in disarray after a war. “It’s always been the genre that I liked the most,” Raasch said when asked what drew her to fantasy. The series that first really drew her into this genre was Twelve Houses by Sharon Shinn. Part of what made her love it so much was “seeing what could be done with really expansive, deep world building.” CURIOSITALES

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“It made me fall in love with the possibilities of being able to create entire cultures, and entire peoples, and the way they speak and dress and eat,” Raasch said. Creating an expansive world is no easy task; it involves a lot of research. But knowing when you have done enough research can be difficult. “I’m struggling with that right now as I’m trying to develop a couple of new ideas. I’m still at the point where I’m like, ‘But if I just spend a couple more months poking around with things…’” So what is the solution? “That’s a hard question to answer because you kind of have to get to a point where you just force yourself to,” Raasch said, “and you force yourself to start writing the first draft knowing it’s wrong. And that’s the hardest thing because it feels like a waste of time, but it isn’t. Even though you’ll probably end up deleting most of that stuff, it’s just feeling out the world and playing with it.” “Creating a world is so expansive; you can’t possibly get all of the details down before you start writing it because there are things you won’t think about or things you’ll encounter and be like, ‘Oh, that actually needs to be this way.’ So it really just comes down to forcing yourself to do it. So much of this industry, especially because it’s very self-contained, requires you to be really on yourself with things,” Raasch said. “It’s hard, man, being your own boss,” she added with a laugh. “With These Rebel Waves, I hope people come away with more of a sense of questioning what you believe in. Because as somebody who had a very pivotal belief 16

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Never just take things at surface value.

shift, I know how important it is to question things. And even if you are completely certain in what your side believes that is right, that’s even more reason to question things and just to be informed. Back things up with facts. Never just take things at surface value.” She knows what it is like to question your beliefs. She had a conservative upbringing, and writing this book helped her process how that affected her, although that is not the only way she processes it. “I think processing it, for me at least, is kind of a daily thing. Growing up with beliefs like that, they really shape who you turn into unless you get out of it. I still find myself doing or not doing things based on various things that they told me back when I was younger. So it’s just a constant battle of reaffirming what I believe now, and what the right thing to do, for me, is,” Raasch said. She went on to talk about how religion is incorporated in These Rebel Waves and how her real-life experiences influenced that. “Putting in the Argridian church that runs Ben’s country was just really cathartic, in a way, to kind of delve back into a lot of


the things that they would say. Especially when Ben’s father and the various priests in his country talk. I always would have to sit back and kind of pull into my brain the different things that I heard the leaders of my church talk about. Which was cathartic in a way but also really uncomfortable in a lot of other ways.” Besides the message, being inclusive was also very important to Raasch. One of the main characters, Ben, is openly gay. “One of the challenges I set forth for myself after I finished the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, and kind of took stock of my career and what I wanted to do next, was to be more inclusive and have more diversity because Snow Like Ashes was pretty white and pretty straight,” she said. “It was one of the things that I deeply regret now looking back. I was in a different place when I wrote it and was less woke, I guess.” “So going forward the personal goal I’ve set for myself is to never have somebody’s sexuality or preferences be a source of tension in a plot, especially in These Rebel Waves. There’s a very oppressive church that runs Ben’s country, and it would have been very easy to have the church be ho-

mophobic because that seems to go hand in hand in really oppressive religions. So especially because there was a really heavy religious presence, I wanted Ben’s country to be very accepting of sexuality.” But there are plenty of other ways to create tension. “Ben is openly gay, and he’s in a relationship with one of his guards at the beginning of the book. And that’s where the tension comes from- he’s a prince, and he’s in love with a commoner. It’s really frowned upon that he’s reaching below a social class, especially being an heir to the kingdom,” Raasch said. She also talked about how in today’s culture, it can be easy for people to read something online and automatically assume that what they read is true without doing any research of their own. “So I hope people come away from [These Rebel Waves] questioning things a little more and widening their own belief system.” These Rebel Waves includes many different beliefs, which means Raasch had to see things from several different viewpoints and then argue for them. The most difficult character to do this for was Ben. CURIOSITALES

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“There were a couple of different ways his story started. I had one version of him where he started the book and he was super devoted to the religion and super believed in it and everything and then slowly changed as he went on. So it was kind of similar to Lu. And then in one version, he was kind of questioning it in secret and was kind of like a rebel and had his own little resistance going.”

Once you start questioning things it all falls apart.

But finally, Raasch figured out his story. “After all he’s seen and all he’s grown up with, there’s a really pivotal moment where his uncle and his cousin were burned at the stake for harboring magic plants and for aiding the rebels on Grace Loray and her revolution. And that moment has made him start to question everything. Once you start questioning things it all falls apart. You can’t stop questioning. You can’t stop seeing the answers even if people don’t get them.” “So when Ben starts the story, he’s unraveled. He’s spent years trying not to let his father and the rest of Argrid know that he’s been questioning and doesn’t believe anymore. So he’s drunk a lot and is constantly acting out in small ways to 18

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kind of keep people from seeing his bigger weaknesses. When he starts the book he’s kind of floundering and really lost. So it took a long time to nail down where he was at because there are so many options for him. But he’s one of my favorite characters just because he put me through so much stress trying to figure him out.” And of course, stress is something that comes along with writing a book. Even though Raasch has written a trilogy and These Rebel Waves will be her fourth book, she still struggles like every other author. “It’s hard. It’s really hard. I think people have this idea that once you’ve written a book, it’s just easy after that. But every book is like starting from scratch. So it’s hard just to learn your process, though I think that’s the one thing that experience gives you is to figure out, or to be able to recognize, that it sucks right now but it will get better. And then it’ll suck again, and then it’ll get better. So it’s just knowing what’s coming.” Another thing that has helped Raasch during the writing and publishing process is her author friends. “It’s a very solitary job for sure,” she said. Luckily, even when she is not able to meet with friends like Kristen Simmons in person, they can still communicate online. In fact, she and Claire Legrand have been helping each other out via text by making sure the other is actually doing their work. “It’s nice having everything online because you do get to connect with people and help this industry not feel quite so alone.” But even with support, writing a book is still a daunting task that takes time. In


fact, the ideas for Raasch’s books were ideas that she has had for as long as fifteen years. “It helps when you’re contractually obligated to finish it,” Raasch said with a laugh. “It also helps having an editor and an agent who are kind of in on it with you where you don’t feel quite so alone.” But despite how long the publishing process is, it is easy to feel like you have to reach a certain point by a certain age. Raasch insisted that is not the case. “Oh no, there’s no age requirement in this industry at all. We all write books for teenagers, but we don’t have to be close to being teenagers. I have really good writer friends who were in their 50s and some that were in their 60s [when they published their first book.] Really the only thing that silences worries like that is being in the industry and chugging along. You keep moving forward and keep doing everything you can to get towards that goal. That way you know that you’re doing everything you can.” If fans of her previous work are wondering how similar These Rebel Waves is to Snow Like Ashes, according to Raasch it is darker and deals with heavier themes. She also compared two lead female characters from each series. When it comes to Lu in These Rebel Waves, she said, “She’s a lot what Meira would have been like without Meira’s sense of humor. Lu’s a lot more serious; a lot of worse things have happened to her than Meira. Meira was kind of sheltered when we first met her in Snow Like Ashes – obviously terrible things had happened but not directly relating to her.”

She’s a lot darker than Meira.

On the contrary, Lu has been through a lot. “We start the book with the revolution having recently ended, and her parents were pivotal in the reason that it ended in victory. So she grew up with her mom who was one of the generals and her dad was basically a spy. And she kind of took on a lot of roles for them and followed in their footsteps and did a lot of things that over the course of the duology come back to haunt her. So she’s a lot darker than Meira.” At the end of the interview, Raasch had one last thing to say to readers. “If you read These Rebel Waves, let me know. I always like to talk to people online on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and everywhere. Like, too much. I just like to talk to people.” If you want to go on this dark, magical, and exciting journey with Lu, Vex, and Ben, then you should go to Epic Reads to see a list of all the places where you can buy These Rebel Waves. And of course, do not forget to say hello to Raasch! TWITTER: @seesarawrite TUMBLR: sararaasch.tumblr.com/ INSTAGRAM: @sara_raasch

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Share Your Shelf with Sara Raasch 1.

A good bookmark

I have a beautiful engraved metal bookmark I got from Tattered Cover in Denver to commemorate one of my first signings, way back in 2014. I use it in every book, and it reminds of how lucky I am to be a part of this industry! 2.

StylishGeek on Etsy

SWAG

In the same vein as bookmarks— BOOK SWAG! I have quite a collection of bookmarks, character art, tattoos, stickers, and more from my own

books as well as friends’ books. Each piece is filled with so much love for various characters and stories! 3.

Bookends

I have a gorgeous set of marble heart bookends I bought as a splurge gift for myself years ago. They’ve survived five moves, and still hold my books up with style! 4.

A solid tote

With so many books, everyone needs a good, strong tote! I love my “When I get a little money, I buy books; if any is left, I buy food and clothes” tote from Barnes & Noble. It’s sturdy and dependable! 5.

Socks

There’s something about a cute pair of socks that makes the world brighter—and having bookish themed socks is the best! There’s a pair that makes your legs look like android legs, and I love how it ties to the Lunar Chronicles. 22

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6.

Candles

The best pairing with a good book? A good scent! I am over the moon with glee that a lovely German candle company made a bookish candle for Meira from SNOW LIKE ASHES—wintry yumminess! 7.

TREATS!

My favorite while-reading treat: chocolate, of course! A lovely indie bookstore where I used to live had the best assortment of local chocolate, and would pair it with books. Such a decadent treat! 8.

Scarves

Who can pass up that Marauders Map scarf?? 9.

Name badges

This is a bit of a stretch—but I have a collection of name badges I’ve gotten at various book events over the years, and I love all of them. It’s such a fun way to pay homage to the amazing get-togethers the book community hosts! 10.

A hearty beverage

We’ve covered all the other reading necessities—but hydration is most important! I particularly love cocktails inspired by books, or wine pairings selected for certain characters. The thought and variety in these creations makes both so much more enjoyable!

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Ask Ashley

Monthly advice column by Ashley Olafsen: co-founder of MOVE, TedX speaker, passionate creator, author, and entrepreneur. Feel free to email her your questions: ashley@curiositales.com. ashleyolafsen.com @ashleyolafsen

This year I haven’t had as much time to read. Should I quit my Bookstagram account because I’m faking it? I see other accounts that read way more than me. ~Maria Maria, I totally hear you - finding time to read can be so challenging, and I completely understand the dilemma of feeling like you’re faking it... especially when other people are reading so much more! However, it doesn’t sound like you’re faking enjoying reading - sometimes, it’s just hard to prioritize reading! I believe that you should evaluate how your Bookstagram account makes you feel. And if you enjoy reading, and if you enjoy keeping a Bookstagram account, you should keep your account. However, if your account is causing you genuine stress or panic, than perhaps it’s not a great account to keep. Additionally, if the problem is reading less than other people, I would urge you to consider how much reading YOU would like to do, and figure out a way to do so. Perhaps you can set a goal of reading a book every two weeks, or a goal of setting a timer for 30 minutes every day. On a final note, it’s okay to not always have time to read - life can be so busy, and please don’t feel frustrated with yourself for not having as much time to read as you used to. 26

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None of my friends at school read and I feel like I have to pretend I hate reading, too. What should I do? ~Liz Liz, I am so glad you reached out. One of my favorite quotes is (paraphrased) ‘love is bringing all of yourself to the table, and leaving with even more’. In other words, I think that it’s important you’re able to bring ALL of yourself to your friendships - especially the part of you that enjoys reading - and you deserve to be accepted and respected by your friends regardless. I would encourage you to share with your friends that you actually enjoy reading; you deserve to have genuine friendships with people who you can be honest with. I believe that if a friend is truly a good one, they will respect you and your passions even if they’re different from your friends. Being your true self and expressing your true passions can be scary, but is such a worthy investment. With that, I urge you to go ahead and be honest, with yourself and your friends, about how you actually don’t hate reading! Have a question or comment for Ashley? Email her at ashley@curiositales.com. Please include your chosen name for publication in case it is answered in the magazine.


I really enjoyed this magazine. The layout and design was nice, clean, and attractive; not bogged down with too much content per page or overwhelming color palettes. It is well edited, both graphically and grammatically. The content was interesting and varied, including lots of fun small tidbits. A few minor issues I had with it was there were quite a bit of ads, which is to be expected I guess, but there just seemed to be more than I expected, and all for the same thing. Which will probably change as they become more popular and sell more ad space. Another minor thing was that there were some photo spreads, which took up both left and right pages, which is fine if you’re viewing the magazine on a computer. But if you’re reading it on a mobile device, it doesn’t quite look that good. -Emily

Reader Perspective

Thoughts On Our First Issue

This was a really cool magazine to read! I’ve never heard of a bookish magazine that has interviews with authors, features small shops and donates to a different charity every month. I enjoyed reading about what inspired the authors’ books. There were quite a few ads for a couple different shops, one shop in particular had a lot of products, but it would be nice to see some more variation in shops! Also, with this being a digital publication, there are links to all the shops! (goodbye money...)

Another cool feature with this publication is that part of their sales goes go to a different charity every month. Readers get to know a new organization and ways that they can help! Something really cool is that you can help contribute!! If you’re a writer, photographer, cosplayer, crafter, artist or reviewer, you can submit your work and possibly have it published! In this issue, there were two beautiful short stories. Overall, I think this is a great starting point for a new magazine for bookish needs! -Nakisha Thanks for the feedback ladies, we’ve taken it to heart and have cut back on repetitive ads.

Share your thoughts on our latest issue, send us an email at mail@curiositales.com

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CONTRIBUTE JOIN THE TEAM

Curiositales Magazine is on the lookout for contributors. If you have an idea geared toward the YA readership, send us an email: contribute@curiositales.com. Our readers are creative and talented and we want to feature you. Send us an email to be considered for an upcoming issue. Short Story Criteria: Around 3,000 words Submit a Word Document

Payment $50 within 30 days of publication. 28

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SHORT STORIES COSPLAYERS ARTISTS EDITORIAL PHOTO SPREADS TUTORIALS ARTICLES FLASH FICTION HAVE AN IDEA? LET US KNOW!


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YA AUTHORS ARE REVOLUTIONIZING THE FILM INDUSTRY By Linh Truong Since the golden age of film, Hol- Today, having diversity and representalywood has dominated the screen with swoon-worthy, classically handsome, and charming characters - nevertheless, mostly white. Fast-forward to the 70s, an era when people of color and of different sizes began to appear in the year’s blockbusters, always as the dutiful ditzy sidekick or the stereotypical fresh-off-theboat Asian. Women weren’t portrayed as equals to men, people of color were reserved for the background, and the Academy’s seats were filled with those of lighter skin. Up until the 21st century, Hollywood did not truly reflect the demographics of America, a country made up of a vast shade range of colors, cultures, and individuals. The stories of the marginalized and the oppressed were considered second-rate and left as unpublished manuscripts and rejected screenplays. 30

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tion is not a second thought; it is a necessity, and young adult authors have taken headway in leading the revolution within books and visual media.

In the literature world, the lack of diversity and representation was comparable to those of films. However, in the modern day, the avocation for own voices in books became a subject matter that could not be put on the back burner. Authors have begun to tell the stories of all people, whether that is the crazy, indulgent lifestyle of Asia’s elite (Crazy Rich Asians) or the tales of being a black help in the 1960s (The Help). The movement for inclusion of all skin colors, all genders, all sexual orientations, all body types, and of those with and without disabilities alike has exploded in the publishing industry, especially in


the young adult community. Young adult authors are bringing the genre something it has never seen before: an Asian female lead who is badass and courageous, an African American boy who is more than the melanin in his skin, a curvy and vivacious LGBT+ woman who isn’t defined by the size label of her clothing. All stories from all voices are valued. Readers are finding themselves on the page, reading about characters who aren’t just white, straight, and male, realizing that their identity is as valid as anyone else’s. Likewise, authors are able to share their narrative no matter their background or where they come from. Finding well-written books with a Muslim lead, Chinese folklore, or main character with Asperger’s is no longer an impossibility. With books like An Ember in the Ashes, The Lunar Chronicles, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Leah on the Offbeat, and Radio Silence, young adult literature has taken on a dynamic that continues to impact its readers immeasurably and lead a path towards showcasing the voices of all individuals.

Books that have been adapted into films gain an even wider audience through a different medium.

With the changing tide in literature, young adult books have started many dialogues about the pressing issues in America today, especially through screen adaptations and social media. Books that have been adapted into films gain an even wider audience through a different medium. Some of the biggest film franchises originated from young adult novels, like Harry Potter (2001-2011), The Hunger Games (2012), and Divergent (2014). Since then, there has already been a noticeable change in teen blockbusters. As writers pen diverse characters, it changes the way Hollywood casts actors and paves a road for unique storytelling. Earlier this year, Love, Simon, a screenplay adapted from Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda, highlights the struggles of a gay and closeted teenage boy and features a multicultural cast of main characters. The Hate U Give, the 2017 #1 NYT bestseller by Angie Thomas and soon-to-be film, explores the topic of police brutality from the eyes of an African American girl. Netflix’s upcoming To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, originally a YA contemporary by Jenny Han, is a romantic comedy with an Asian main character, something nearly unheard of a few decades ago. Actors of different races and ethnicities are filling roles of major films, and proper representation is becoming a higher priority in Hollywood. Additionally, these bigscreen adaptations have already opened the doorways to conversations on social media, whether it’s readers who are loyal fans of the book discussing the casting or movie-goers who were drawn in by the trailer and the story it presents. UndoubtCURIOSITALES

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edly, as authors include diverse characters and representation in their writing, they’re creating ripple effects in the mainstream media. Nevertheless, the real question is, why young adult? Why not adult authors? Though authors of children’s, middle grade, and adult books have made impacts in advocating for well-represented literature, young adult authors have an audience of bright, bold youth. The future generation, the valiant leaders, the upcoming men and women of the working class, the individuals who are the true embodiment of America. Young adults have trail-blazed a road of empowerment and outspoken change, unafraid to stand up for what they believe in.

Youth is a season of hope.

In the current decade, youth have had a larger voice than they ever had before and people are listening; with the tool of social media platforms, the younger generation has been unafraid to set forth a revolution for equality and equity. This is evident by the #MarchForOurLives, Black Lives Matter, and United We Dream movements, all youth-led or centered around youth. The push for diverse characters in books 32

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started on blogs, Twitter feeds, Instagram posts, and Youtube, often by young adult creators and readers. It only made sense that the spark for inclusion and diversity started in the young adult community; after all, youth is a season of hope.

The influence of young adult authors has become stronger.

With the up-and-coming films of The Darkest Minds, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and The Hate U Give, the influence of young adult authors has become stronger not only on the page but in full-technicolor at the movie theaters and on the internet as opportunities for discussion. Hollywood has come a long way since the golden age. Critically-acclaimed films like 12 Years A Slave, Call Me By Your Name, and Lion have shown the gradual shift in the industry’s storytelling and young adult authors continue to contribute to that change by telling the stories of the undermined, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the voices that go unheard. Linh Truong is a 16-year-old American Asian content creator hailing from the Pacific Northwest. An upcoming junior in high school, she can be found studying, taking photos, filming, reading, and enjoying a good bowl of pho.


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by Juliet White The Rogues and Rapscallions of YA Lit our appetite for stories that veer into ter Stories that venture onto the wrong ritory no guidance counselor would ever side of the law are eternally enticing. Books let us vicariously experience the thrills of a life of crime without the handcuffs, jumpsuits, and jail time. Young adult books are filled with bad boys— and girls—who flout the rules. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

recommend remains!

Pirate tales are one subgenre of YA fiction that’s guaranteed to deliver scallywags and ne’er-do-wells galore. Good pirate yarns are like rip currents. They sweep us away into a world brimming with high stakes drama and swashbucklers, in Readers have swooned over bad boy vaman evocative setting. The buccaneers of pires such as Damian Salvatore (The Vamyoung adult fiction are some of the most pire Diaries) and Adrian Ivashkov (Vampire captivating rogues to ever sword fight Academy and the Bloodlines series). We’ve their way across a page. Whether you’re in rooted for Leigh Bardugo’s morally-questhe mood for sea pirates or space pirates, tionable characters like Kaz from Six of this genre promises lawlessness, advenCrows and the compelling Darkling from ture, and sometimes even love. The Grisha Trilogy. While “dark and brooding” might have become the stuff of cliché, CURIOSITALES

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Although such books typically fall into either fantasy or historical genres, there are a myriad of interpretations and premises that keep these YA novels feeling fresh. To Catch a Pirate opens with protagonist Annalisa Townsend at the mercy of pirates who have invaded her father’s ship. Buccaneer James Sterling is surprised when his hostage dares to negotiate with him and this first interaction launches a tale of adventure, romance, and pursuit—literal pursuit because Annalisa is determined to track down the man who stole from her. While To Catch a Pirate plots a traditional course, Cassandra Rose Clarke steers the genre in an intriguing direction in her Assassin’s Curse series. Ananna is a pirate who jumps ship when she is expected to enter an arranged marriage with another pirate clan. The clan retaliates by sending an assassin, Naji, to kill her. Ananna unleashes a curse that unintentionally binds pirate and assassin together. Even when the curse is broken, their conflicted desire for each other lingers.

The Captain Hook in these pages is an unexpectedly sexy rapscallion.

A look at literary pirates wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to Peter 36

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Pan. Although J.M. Barrie’s classic is usually considered a middle grade read, it has inspired numerous retellings, including some YA books. Unhooked, authored by Lisa Maxwell, presents a darker version of the story—it’s not Nana’s Neverland that’s for sure. Rather than being a crusty villain, the Captain Hook in these pages is an unexpectedly sexy rapscallion. Pop culture staples such as Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean (the original inspiration behind Annie Sullivan’s A Touch of Gold) ensure that we’re well-versed in pirate tropes. That makes us better able to appreciate it when authors flip the standard male buccaneer paradigm on its tricorn-covered head. Both Celia Rees’s Pirates! and L.A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack series center around a female protagonist who disguises herself as male, in order to be a pirate. This setup not only lets characters move beyond the gender constraints of a historical setting, but it also raises more enduring issues about the chasm between the image we present publicly and the private reality. There are, in fact, historical examples of girls who masqueraded as boys to become pirates. Miriam McNamara explores the life of one such individual in her recently-released debut novel, The Unbinding of Mary Reade. The tale is based on the life of Mary Reade, a.k.a. Mark Reade, who spent many years presenting as male before joining up with infamous pirates Calico Jack and Anne Bonny. Fierce female characters abound in pirate fiction. Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King opens with Princess Alosa concealed as a cabin boy, but that charade


only lasts for the first few pages. After that, Alosa’s strength and cunning become clear to the reader as she masterminds her own kidnapping to infiltrate an enemy pirate ship. When you’re a pirate princess, wholesome dating options are scarce and a relationship with first mate, Riden, is tempting. Almost as tempting as the treasure map Alosa’s tasked with finding. Prefer pirates that navigate a galaxy rather than an ocean? Then Heart of Iron (which came out in February of this year) has you covered. Ashley Poston of Geekeralla fame delivers a tale that draws on the story of Anastasia Romanov—but with passion and space pirates. Naturally! But that’s far from the only swagger-filled read that 2018 has in store. Sara Raasch’s These Rebel Waves has piratical themes and is hitting bookshelves in August. Then, in October, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, promises to deliver plenty of shenanigans and scallywags. This is the sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. The first book featured Monty, the ultimate bad boy, who carouses his way across Europe with his sister Felicity and love interest Percy in tow. Although pirates make a cameo, it’s only in the second novel, which concentrates on Felicity, that they score a mention in the title. More pirate books are lurking on the YA horizon for 2019. The only thing more engrossing than a buccaneer yarn is a story featuring a ghost ship. Tor Teen is publishing Django Wexler’s Ship of Smoke and Steel, a fantasy novel in which eighteen-yearold Isoka must steal a ghost ship in order to save her sister’s life. This is the first book of a trilogy—a boon for pirate lovers. Candlewick also intends to release a fantasy novel set on a pirate ship. Look for Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea in 2019, as well. Since rebellion never gets old, YA literature will continue to take us on a walk—or sail—on the wild side. Regardless of our destination, we’ll be accompanied by strong characters whose exploits keep us flipping pages long into the night. As a kid, Juliet White slept with a flashlight in her bed for late-night stealth reading. You can find her obsessing about libraries @JulietWrites on Twitter, or visit her at julietwhite.com. CURIOSITALES

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Love the uniqueness inside of you, love yourself. Everyone has a special gift.

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WHEN FANTASY MEETS REALITY Interview by Gillian St. Clair Written by Kelsey Bjork

ing Midas may have learned his lesson after allowing greed to cloud his judgement but the consequences of his mistakes can still be seen. His daughter, Kora, has to deal with the aftermath of being turned into gold by her father. She now has golden skin, secret powers, and a life of isolation. When a thief steals from the kingdom, Kora must use her ability to sense gold to find him. In A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan, readers get to follow Kora on this dangerous and exciting journey. A Touch of Gold is a YA fantasy, but there is an aspect to it that readers probably do not find often in this genre. Something that Sullivan likes about YA fantasy is the ability to create worlds that include fantastical creatures while also including important issues like mental health. “I think it’s definitely something that we need to explore, and I think it’s something that’s not explored enough. Especially in a fantasy setting.” CURIOSITALES

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In this particular novel, the issue of mental health can be seen in the protagonist, Kora, who has PTSD and anxiety. “She was turned to gold as a child by her father which is going to leave some lasting side effects mentally and physically.” Sullivan said, “I’ve got a little bit of anxiety myself, so I wanted to bring that to life in her and just have another way of expressing it. So you don’t even know you’re reading about a person with anxiety, because it’s just a part of who she is. So many kids today suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar – whatever it is that they might have, and they don’t always have an outlet.” Sullivan hopes that giving readers a character like Kora will help them feel less alone. “They’re afraid to be around her, so that kind of isolates her in a way. So this whole story is about her coming out of her shell, and that’s what I love about it. It’s kind of Kora’s coming of age story of how she finds herself.”

“They go and they search for this gold, and I was like, well that sounds pretty cool, so what could I do with that? And I just keep imagining Johnny Depp you know – he runs the coin over his fingers – and well, it spiraled from there.”

I think this is, in some ways, my little ode to Jane Austen.

She also found inspiration in Jane Austen. “I think this is, in some ways, my little ode to Jane Austen. Just in some of the plot details and characters that are in there and some things that happen. I love her characters and how you think you know In showing Kora’s journey, Sullivan hopes what’s going on, but maybe you don’t always know what’s going on, and that kind to help others realize their worth. “One of the messages that I want people to take of happens throughout the entire book. So away from this book is to love the unique- I just want readers to be ready for a couple ness inside of you, to love yourself. Every- of twists and turns along the way.” one has a special gift. Maybe right now you only see it as a flaw, but maybe if you Sullivan’s love of traveling has also influenced her writing. She caught the travel develop it, it can be the thing that makes bug from her parents when she was just you the most unique and special.” a kid which is not surprising considering she has been to every continent. “I’ve been Next, Sullivan talked about some of the very lucky,” she said. inspirations behind this novel. Readers might be surprised that one of them was The Pirates of the Caribbean. “I still love that movie,” Sullivan said. 42

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“I was probably six or so when we went on our first Alaska cruise. I just loved it. You see different places, meet new peo-


ple, experiencing new things. And I think as a writer that is one of the best things that you can do is to just get out there and experience the world, experience different cultures, different people, and learn different perspectives,” Sullivan said. “Because as a writer, that’s what you’re doing. You’re putting yourself into different perspectives, and if you can’t do that, your characters aren’t going to come alive.” Sullivan also talked about Spain and how some people she met there are included in A Touch of Gold in a special way. “It’s such a great country; I love it. So many great people there too. In fact, in my acknowledgments, I actually thank the Spanish family that I stayed with. As amazing as traveling around the world may sound, not every aspect is fun. “I hate flying, which is really weird because people are like, ‘You’ve been everywhere.’ But you get over that, and you just keep

going. That’s what it takes to make your dream come true: getting over your fears, even if it’s flying.” And getting past fears and persevering is something that Sullivan has plenty of experience in. Just like every other writer, she has experienced her share of rejections. “I think you definitely have to be resilient in this business. I’ve also gotten rejections one day from an editor saying ‘This book is too dark,’ and then the next day a different editor said, ‘This book is not dark enough.” You just have to remember the whole business is subjective.” Even though A Touch of Gold is Sullivan’s debut novel, a different book got her an agent. After trying to find one using this novel, she decided to move on and write another book. And another. “I didn’t query the middle one, but I queried the third

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one, and that one got me two offers and a representation. So I ended up going with my agent, Christa Heschke, who I love.”

Once you know that someone has your back you kind of feel like, okay, I’m not alone in this anymore.

Sullivan was grateful for the benefits of having an agent. “It’s definitely helpful. Once you know that someone has your back you kind of feel like, okay, I’m not alone in this anymore. Someone in the industry thinks I’m good. One of the benefits of an agent is I could get back to writing and working on my next book while she took care of all the business stuff.” Now that Sullivan has so much experience, she has chosen to use what she has learned to help other aspiring authors. One of the ways in which she does this is by using #anniesbeenthere so others can learn from her mistakes. “I made mistakes that I don’t want other people to replicate,” Sullivan said. “You want someone who understands who can cheer you on and say, ‘Keep going,’ because they get it. “ Another way she contributes is by being 44

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a mentor for “Pitch Wars.” This program is made of published/agented authors, editors, and industry interns who choose a writer to help. They do this by reading their manuscript and giving suggestions on how to improve it. “I want to help writers who are serious about their craft,” Sullivan said, “because a small part is who you know and making those connections. Not only just to get you in the door, but to have the friends who can support you.” Thankfully, according to Sullivan, the writing community is an awesome one. “It’s such a supportive industry. So many people are willing to help each other out, which I love. You don’t really see this in other industries. So I want to be a part of that because I remember what it feels like to be alone.” Just as Sullivan had to go on a journey in order to become a published author, Kora must also embark on a journey of her own, and that is the main focus of A Touch of Gold. Sullivan said, “There’s definitely magical elements, and mythical elements, and creatures that we’re going to meet along the way, but I think it’s more her journey. There’s definitely a good plot. It’s gonna keep readers turning the page, and things are moving constantly, but it really is her journey that’s at the center of all of this. Who she is and discovering her place in the world. As a girl made practically out of gold, what is her value? Is she worth more than gold?” There was one element of magic in her world, however, that unfortunately did not make it into the novel. Originally,


the story included a balcony that would crumble if the person standing on it did not tell the truth. Sullivan said that there were rumors the balcony was not entirely accurate. “What’s considered a lie? Is a half-truth a lie? So there’s kind of all that murkiness.” She went on to discuss the manipulation of words, something she said is a theme throughout the novel.

wait for people to see it in person. I can’t wait to see it in person.” Going back to discussing the party, Sullivan said, “I am just so excited for that because I love a good party. And again, it’s something to celebrate because this is filled with so much rejection.”

But then Sullivan went back to giving “You have a character [Dionysus] who advice to aspiring authors. “I just want to cursed Midas, for lack of a better term. make sure writers out there know that just Because King Midas asked for the power finishing the book is a huge accomplishto turn things to gold, but he didn’t think ment because so many people will say, everything he touched would turn to gold. ‘I’m gonna write a book,’ and they never So that whole idea of manipulating words get around to it. So even having finished a is really a big theme.” book, like, kudos to those people because it does take a lot of discipline.” Along with the release of A Touch of Gold this month, she also has a launch party And if she could say anything to those to look forward to on August 17 in Indihoping to publish a book one day, it anapolis. Besides being excited about the would be this: “Just keep writing. Don’t cake that will be there, she is also excited give up. Because I’ve known people who to finally see the book sculpture that was its taken ten books to get an agent. Some made for her. people who have started at the same time as me haven’t gotten agents yet. Some Sullivan found the creator, Eileen Bos, on people that started after me have books Etsy when she bought a sculpture from published before me. Everyone’s path is her. Coincidentally, Bos had been looking different. So just remember that, and be for an author to make a sculpture that was kind to yourself.” based on their book. “Everything fell into place,” Sullivan said. You can read more from Sullivan on her blog here. And of course, make sure to “You think books are supposed to take buy her magical fairytale retelling, A you places; they’re not supposed to beTouch of Gold, which was released on Aucome these magic things. And it’s everygust 14. You can find links to buy it on thing that I’m about, you know? It supAmazon and other places by going here. ports the whole idea that books can take you places, but it’s visually represented, INSTAGRAM @ annsulliva and I just love that. And working with her TWITTER @ annsulliva has been a dream. All of their stuff lights anniesullivanauthor.com up, so to see it lit up and how it glows and looks so magical – I’m so excited. I can’t CURIOSITALES

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Share Your Shelf

with Annie Sullivan

1. Book sculptures from Enchanted Couture by Eileen Bos. These sculptures are amazing and whimsical and would look good in any book lover’s home. 2. Comfy pajamas. I live in pajamas. They’re my writing uniform, so anytime I can find book themed ones, I’m happy! Plus, they feature Jane Austen, who I love! 3. An actual book bag. I love fairytales and showing off my love of books, and this bag is the perfect way to do it! 4. Book Teapot. I collect teapots, and as I mentioned above, I love Jane Austen, so I adore this teapot shaped like her books! 48

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5. Bookends. These bookends are awesome because they are books and because I love the phrase they have on them! 6. Bookish jewelry! If you love sporting your favorites quotes from books on your sleeve (or in a necklace), then this is for you! These super cute items go with any look! 7. Bookish signs! If you want to display your love of books a little bit bigger than the jewelry you wear, look no further than these signs that will liven up any bookshelf or wall!

8. Book stairs! My basement stairs in my house looked old and terrible. I spruced them up by making them into book stairs, and now, they’re the talk of my house! 9. Book fabric! If you’re crafty, there’s so much you can do with fabric. You could use this to make pillows or a skirt or a quilt! 10. A good mug. I love curling up with tea on a cold night or when I’m working hard. Every writer needs a good mug, and if it has a cool book quote on it, then all the better! CURIOSITALES

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I am Batman. No, but really, I feel like I am so open about everything and talk so much about my life online that not much is left unsaid.

What book character would you be? I would be Frodo because I want to live in the Shire and then leave for the Undying Lands with the Elves. Tolkien fan here.

What is your favorite word? ‘Brother’, not because of my annoying sibling (love him though), but because I like pronouncing it with a Cockney accent haha.

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? Being able to connect with other readers. ClichĂŠ, I know, but unfortunately in my day to day life I only know one or two people that share my passion for reading.

Why do you Bookstagram? Because it is so damn fun. And it helps with the stress.

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? Cartoons and movies and books and TV series/animes. 56

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“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf, JRR Tolkien

Told you I love Tolkien.

What is your earliest memory of reading? Sitting in a restaurant and reading The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. That was after I visited a library for the first time that day (age 13 or so).

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? I don’t. Despite being a bookstagrammer, I almost never check what is coming out. In fact, unless we are talking JK Rowling, I rarely get hyped for new titles. I will wait to see what others say first.

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? JRR Tokien hands down. I have soooo many questions. JK Rowling is a close second. CURIOSITALES

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I’m a huge collector. I collect old & new books, vintage dresses and many old stuff, pins or bookish merchandise in general and even old My little pony figures. What book character would you be? Daenerys Targaryen. She’s fierce, gorgeous, and loves justice.

What is your favorite word? “Extraordinary” is my favorite word. It always described my life and people I love

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? People. I love their generosity, support & how similar we all are. Little bit like one internet family full of nerdy artistic people

Why do you Bookstagram? Because I love books & photography. It’s a little place where I can be myself and create something I love & hope everyone will love it as well. It’s my own hideaway full of people with same interests.

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? Nature, fairy tales, old times and places I love. Such as the woods or castles. 60

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“After all this time? Always.� - Severus Snape

Because Harry Potter was one of my first obsessions & forever will be my most loved fandom.

What is your earliest memory of reading? I was about 8 years old and I got my first book about horses from my mother. I fell I love immediately

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights.

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What book character would you be?

I rarely ever travel for pleasure! I think a lot of people online assume I go to a bunch of places for fun (New York, London, etc), but I usually only travel if it’s work/ school-related.

Sometimes I feel obligated to say Lara Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, simply because so many people have told me I look like her, but I feel like our personalities are so different! Maybe Rachel from Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan – so I could have a crazy rich boyfriend, hah! – or Tessa from The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare.

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? I can’t choose one! Probably Archenemies, the sequel to Renegades, by Marissa Meyer, and Queen of Air and Darkness, the finale of The Dark Artifices, by Cassandra Clare. CURIOSITALES

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? The community!! Honestly, the book community in all its aspects – bookstagram, book blogs, booktube, etc – are all wonderful. Everyone is so genuine and kind. We’re all different, come from different places and backgrounds, but we could all relate and connect with one thing – books.

Why do you Bookstagram? I originally started a bookstagram because I didn’t have many friends in real life I could talk to about my books. The reason is still the same here, but now it’s more because of the so many friends I’ve made on bookstagram. 64

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“You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.” What is your earliest memory of reading?

Turtles All the Way Down

I remember reading huge picture books in Kindergarten, literally learning how to read. My earliest memory of reading and becoming a “reader” was in third grade after I read Charlotte’s Web.

What is your favorite word? I want to say twirling, but also feel like I use that word far too much. I originally chose my name because 1) I’m a ballet dancer and twirling/turning is my favorite part of dancing and 2) my last name is Ling so twirLING. More recently, I’ve also been loving the word “savor.” It’s normally used for tasting food but I enjoy the way it describes a feeling or experience – to savor the moment, etc. etc. CURIOSITALES

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What book character would you be? I would be Nina Zenik from Six of Crows, we both share an unhealthy love for waffles haha.

I’m an aspiring author! Right now I’m working on a YA novel that’s a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. I’ve always loved greek mythology, and I wanted to showcase Persephone’s story of rebirth as she grows to become the Queen of the Underworld.

What is your favorite word? Sonder: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. I love this word because it just sounds so pretty and I think its meaning is so interesting.

What is your earliest memory of reading? My earliest memory was reading the Percy Jackson series in the fourth grade. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked! CURIOSITALES

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? My favorite part is the amazing community. Bookstagram has so many creative and supportive members! It’s been so lovely getting to connect with other people that are passionate about books and I’ve made so many friends that I would have never met, had it not have been for bookstagram.

Why do you Bookstagram? I have zero artistic or musical talent, so bookstagram is my creative outlet! It’s also become a great platform to connect and support some amazing authors.

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? The books themselves! I always try to bring in an element from the book into my photos. 68

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“As for fairy tales, he understood that they were reflections of the people who had spun them, and were flecked with little truths - intrusions of reality into fantasy, like toast crumbs on a wizard’s beard.” Strange the Dreamer What book are you most looking forward to this fall? Ahh! SOOO many, but if I had to choose it would be Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas. Both of the previous novels had major cliffhangers and I’m super excited to find out how the authors are going to wrap up their series.

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? Rick Riordan! I grew up with the Percy Jackson series. Those books turned me into a reader and changed the direction of my whole life. It would be awesome to meet him! CURIOSITALES

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What book character would you be?

I care about people but I don’t don’t really care about what they think of me. It’s a thing that most people don’t know about me because they think that, since I care about people, I will also let myself be influenced by their opinions of me.

Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology (written by Leigh Bardugo), I loved her from the first page and she’s almost everything I am aiming to be: fierce, badass and also a loving, caring and faithful person.

What is your favorite word? “Serendipity,” which is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. I discovered this word thanks to a song and I can’t get over how beautiful it sounds and its meaning. CURIOSITALES

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? The fact that I get to know different people, with different styles and lives, and communicate with them. Bookstagram has its positive and negative sides but I like being part of it, it almost feels like I am talking to friends.

Why do you Bookstagram? I do it for myself. Bookstagram has become an important part of me because it lets me express myself and feel understood when it comes to my love for books.

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? A lot of things! One day you’ll see me get inspired by a quote and the other day by another bookstagrammer. My main “feed goal” is to create pictures that are simple and have quite a lot of that “dream-y” style, hence why my username is dreamingpages. 72

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“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Dumbledore, JK Rowling

What is your earliest memory of reading? My brother first bought me Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! He was the one who introduced me to the series and gave me his first three books, which I am grateful for!

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? I am mainly waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness to come out! It is absolutely incredible how much I grew fond of this series.

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? I would LOVE to meet Leigh Bardugo or Cassandra Clare, they’re two women that inspired me a lot lately and I would have so many things to say and talk about! CURIOSITALES

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Although I would love to work in the literature field one day, I’m also an avid tree-lover and would be thrilled to become a park ranger. What book character would you be? I could see myself being a ‘Francis Abernathy’ type from Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. He isn’t always in the spotlight, but he is a strong backbone to the plot—and I feel that’s very much my vibe when it comes to relationships of any sort. Also, he’s terribly melodramatic and tries to make light of situations that seem far too morbid to make light of, which is definitely something I’m guilty of.

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? The community. While you can take a similar photo, no two pictures will ever be the same, and I find that to be very personal when it comes to posting your own content. Because the app is international, I’ve gotten the chance to make some wonderful friends from across the world all because we shared a similar interest in one another’s unique photos.

Why do you Bookstagram? At first, bookstagram was just a way for me to keep track of everything I was reading. But as the years went by and the community grew, now I’m on Bookstagram to share my photography and my book reviews as well as meet other people who inspire me as I might inspire them. 76

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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George RR Martin A Dance with Dragons

What is your earliest memory of reading? I must have been around eleven years old and I was supposed to have gone to sleep hours prior but, naturally, I was reading with a flashlight under my covers. My mother was upset with me until she realized what I was doing and let me stay up all night!

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? Since I’m doing my senior paper on The Faerie Queene, I think it would be very interesting to talk with Edmund Spenser. Doing research only stretches so far when you’re trying to get inside of the mind of the author when they were writing their stories. CURIOSITALES

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When I find a new song or album I like, I’ll play it almost nonstop for the next few days.

What book character would you be? Hermione Granger. Not only is she intelligent, loyal, kind, and passionate, but she can do magic and she has a keen understanding of both the muggle world and the magical world.

What is your favorite word? Indecisive, because I always have the hardest time picking just one favorite thing.

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? My favorite part of Bookstagram is the community. It’s a wonderful place where people can come together to share their love of everything bookish.

Why do you Bookstagram? Bookstagramming allows me to creatively express my love for reading. I love discovering books and helping others discover books, but the photography and editing process has also become somewhat cathartic for me.

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? My feed is mainly inspired by the books I read and, as odd as it may sound, my bed. When I was younger, I loved to read before going to sleep, so most of my Bookstagram shots take place on my bed and/or have blankets in them. 80

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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” – George RR Martin A Dance with Dragons

What is your earliest memory of reading? I remember climbing the tree in our backyard so that I could sit out on one of the branches and read. It was quiet, calm, and breezy.

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? Archenemies by Marissa Meyer.

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? I’d love to meet J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series was such a huge part of my childhood and it continues to be the series that stands on its own when I think of my favorite books. It basically has its own list. CURIOSITALES

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What book character would you be?

Barely anyone knows that I used to hate reading, besides my parents. When I was growing up, reading always made me fall asleep and I rarely got past the second page; luckily, Henry & Mudge and the Magic Treehouse came along, and my love for reading clicked into place.

A feminine icon to me has always been Luna Lovegood: a girl who didn’t give two shits about what people thought of her, dressed in the quirkiest outfits, and valued her friends and her individuality above all else.

What is your favorite word? My favorite word is “if,” because it opens a doorway to millions of possibilities.

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What is your favorite part of Bookstagram? My favorite part of Bookstagram is the people. I’ve been able to share my love of reading with those who enjoy literature as much as I do, and make friends!

Why do you Bookstagram? I bookstagram because it’s fun, and the community is just awesome!

What inspires your Bookstagram feed? Books, people, and my own life. I find inspiration from the stories I read, along with other accounts on the platform! I especially like tying in elements that I have experienced or are around me; I’d like to think that my Instagram reflects my life quite well. 84

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“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel

What is your earliest memory of reading? Paging through a worn copy of Henry & Mudge, admiring the watercolor illustrations and falling into the stories about a boy and his best friend.

What book are you most looking forward to this fall? Vengeful by V.E. Schwab, or Wildcard by Marie Lu. They’re both authors I love and adore, and these two sequels are some of my most anticipated reads of the year.

What author living or dead would you most like to meet? Rick Riordan. It’d be nice to sit down and thank him for everything he has done, maybe over some burgers and fries. CURIOSITALES

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TUTORIAL

This month is all about journeys. Take a voyage of your own and make a special momento to remember your travels when you get back. These DIY Map Roses are beautiful and easy to make. They are sure to remind you of your excursion, no matter where the road takes you. A special thank you to Claire from Pillar Box Blue for this fab tutorial. Make sure to tag her on social with your creations!

Supplies

* Old maps, atlases, etc. You can get some awesome map wrapping paper, however, I prefer to use maps that are printed on both sides. If that’s not possible, one-sided maps will still work but will look a little different. *Green floristry wire *Green floristry tape *Scissors *Pen *Glue gun and glue sticks *Red watercolour paint and brush (optional)

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1. First, you will need to cut out your map shaped petals. I used a template like the one shown for three different shaped petals, small, medium and large.

2. Place your petal template on top of the map, draw round it and then cut out the petal shape. For each map rose you will need six small petals, six medium petals and six large petals. 90

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3. Cut your floristry wire to the length you would like your rose stem to be. Then wrap this wire with the green floristry tape.

ADDING THE PETALS TO YOUR MAP ROSES: 4. First, take a small map petal and roll it up tight. Using a glue gun, stick the petal to the end of your green stem. 5. Take another small petal and gently roll it in your hand to shape it into a slight curve. Dab a small amount of hot glue onto the base of the petal and stick this to your stem. 6. Carry on with the remainding 4 small petals, overlapping them slightly as you go round. 7. Next glue your medium-sized petals one by one to the outside of the small petals, again overlapping as you go round. 8. Repeat with the six remaining large petals. 92

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Finishing off your map roses: To finish off your map roses you can stick a small green leaf cut from green paper to the stem. I also painted the edges of my rose petals with a small amount of red watercolour paint to add a bit more red to the maps.

ABOUT CLAIRE: I’m a crafter, blogger and upcycler. My blog Pillarboxblue is where I share step by step craft and DIY tutorials. Showing how simple it is to create something unique and personal for yourself, your home or even a loved one by working with the things around you. pillarboxblue.com FACEBOOK: Pillarboxblue INSTAGRAM: @ Pillarboxblue PINTEREST: Pillarboxblue TWITTER: @pillarboxblue CURIOSITALES

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FLASH FICTION

A Single Wish by Elena Landrum

Moon looked around herself in wonder. She was in a plush, circular room with a ceiling that sloped up in the middle. She could see the narrow point at the top, like an upside-down funnel. The last thing she remembered was asking Orin, the genie, for her deepest desire. “I just want to make others happy,” she’d said. Moon circled the room looking for a way out. There was none, at least not any that she could see. This place looked fancy enough to have secret doorways hidden in the cushioned walls. She’d look for a door in a minute. For now, she just wanted to enjoy the place. The walls were lined in shiny, soft silk, sconces with red glass were evenly spaced around the room, and the air was lightly scented with burning incense. She sank into one of the plump, emerald pillows propped against the wall. As she sat, she realized she was tired. And thirsty. So thirsty. *POP*.

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Out of nowhere, a pitcher of chilled liquid appeared. Moon looked around, surprised, her exhaustion vanishing at the mystery. Had Orin misheard her? Somehow thought she said she wanted happiness for herself and sent her to this place that seemed to cater to her every whim? She decided to test it out. “Chocolate,” she thought to herself. “I want dark chocolate.” *POP* A chocolate molded in the shape of an orange appeared in front of her. She took a slice and bit in. Delicious! Moon was delighted with her wish, even if Orin had gotten it wrong. “Orin,” she called, a grin on her face. No response. She tried again.“Orin!” Nothing. She sighed but quickly turned her attention back to the palace of wonders. She poured a goblet of golden liquid from the pitcher. She took a deep sip and closed her eyes in pleasure. It was even better than the chocolate. She was forgetting her wish to make others happy when the cup disappeared right out of her hands and the room swirled around her. For a moment, everything went dark. And then, with a whoosh, she found herself standing on a beach. No. Not standing. Her legs were gone! She was supported by a tapering column of dark purple smoke. Her panic was beginning to rise. What had Orin done to her? A voice interrupted her thoughts. “Hey, aren’t you supposed to grant me a wish?”

FLASH FICTION CONTEST Write your tale in 500 words or less for a chance to be published and win a digital copy of one of this month’s featured authors. * Sara Raasch

* Annie Sullivan

* Niamh Murphy

This month’s theme is Adventure. Winners will be published in next month’s issue. Send your story in the body of the email to contribute@curiositales.com with “August Flash” in the subject line to enter. CURIOSITALES

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Lady Aurora

My name is Jade and I go by my cosplay alias “Lady Aurora.” I am best known for my Blake Belladonna cosplay from the series called RWBY. If I am not cosplaying, I work on my personal costumes such as my Steampunk Pirate and my current project, Autumn Fairy, which will debut later this year. My passion expands more than cosplaying, I also love to do fashion modeling and photography. FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Kelly Dun

I am a San Francisco based photographer with the passion for analog photography. I like to experiment with different types of film and film development techniques. A lot of my style is based on analog photography and cinema photography. INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

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Check out this free preview of Escape to Pirate Island by Niamh Murphy You can’t run away from yourself… The year is 1720 and two young women are about to find themselves in more trouble than they could ever have imagined possible. Cat Meadows is a smuggler who’s built her reputation on the backs of unsuspecting souls. Lily Exquemelin has been left nothing by her father but his troubles and his treasure map. Forced to make a desperate escape, they each find themselves on a Trans-Atlantic adventure that will pit them against pirates, mutineers, lost treasure, and each other! Can they learn to trust one another and escape the clutches of their would-be captors or will their past’s finally catch up to them?

CHAPTER ONE At Smugglers Point Cat Meadows didn’t have a chance to shout before the gunshots blasted the air. She watched as Luke Tyler was thrown backward into the sea. The world slowed as he stared at Cat. He reached out to her. He trusted her with his life. He thought of her as his fearless leader. He expected her to save him.

and screams of her friends. She ducked into the cool water, making herself the smallest possible target as she looked out at the chaos.

Then he was gone. Beneath a mist of red stained sea as his body sank under the waves.

A thin line of Revenue Men had come out of hiding to surround Cat and her gang. She recognised them from their uniforms; royal-blue coats, yellow vests, white trousers, and black hats. They marched forward armed with muskets. They were the officials sent to catch pirates in the nefarious act of landing illegal cargo; their duty was to kill them where they stood or take them for hanging.

Cat choked back the fear as a shot seared past her head. Gunfire echoed around Cadogan Bay and mingled with the shouts

Cat’s crew wouldn’t get past them without facing either a bullet or a noose. She could see three of her men on the beach. CURIOSITALES

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One of her horses had fallen, the other was rearing up and pulling at the reins of the cart loaded with kegs of illegal rum. Tommy Meadows, his height acting against his favour, had ducked behind the cart with Fletcher Greaves who was crouched low and only recognisable by his long black coat and tricorn hat. Their rudimentary barricade could only protect them for so long but Old Smithy, his foot bloody and twisted, was desperately crawling across the sand toward them, screaming for their aid. Young Joe was nowhere to be seen.

gunfire told her all she needed to know. She didn’t want to witness another of her gang fall at the feet of this relentless posse. John was struggling to keep his bearded head above water and his limbs splashed around wildly. “Come on, Man,” she shouted, “swim!” But she may as well ask him to fly. His panicked eyes begged her for help as he gurgled, spat, and his head bobbed below the waves. “Onto your back, Man!” Cat grabbed him around the neck and swam hard toward the cusp of the bay. She prayed the Revenue Men didn’t know about the cliff path, few people did.

There was a sudden deep roar behind her. Cat turned to see John Strong, her closest friend and a great giant of a man who she’d seen lift barrels still brimming with beer above his head, pulled underwater as the Dutch boat eased past him. They were Cat fought against the water. Her already trying to make their escape as a fresh hail aching muscles were quick to weaken of musket balls rained down. further at the strain of swimming with one arm as she pulled along a man twice her Without a second thought, Cat dived. size. The waves jostled her as she fought The cold, dark water blinded her and she to keep on a heading toward the smooth, pushed off hard against the sand toward flat, rocky outcrop further along the bay. where she’d seen John disappear. The The rocks would be scattered with pools water wasn’t deep nor was the tide strong of saltwater, places where shrimp and but the ocean was lethal nonetheless. seaweed had collected at the high tide but were now exposed. It was a place she’d She caught a thrashing hand and quickclambered to as a child and spent many ly grabbed the rest of John’s arm to pull a warm afternoon playing happily. But him to the surface but he was stuck fast. now, as her body weakened and the sea Confused for a moment, Cat realised he gained strength, Cat struggled to fight the was trapped. Cat pulled herself down to undercurrent and it threatened to drive his flailing feet. Searching in the dark, she her toward the sharp-edged boulders that quickly untangled his ankles from the lay directly below the cliff-face. ropes trailing from the escaping boat and they both broke the surface panting and The swell pulled her up and inwards to spitting. the beach, back toward the muskets and further from the safe landing. For every Cat didn’t look back at the beach and instroke forward, the tide seemed to pull stead swam out to sea. The shouting and her back three. 108

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She panicked. Gasping for air, Cat realised she’d never reach those rocks. She knew she’d be pulled under the swell and John would be nothing but a dead weight to her as they were smashed against the boulders. She knew she was about to die. The sun was stretching over the horizon on what promised to be a glorious spring morning yet she would drown here and her body would wash up on the sands of her beloved Cadogan Bay. But the very inevitability of her predicament steadied her resolve. Cat fired her determination and decided that she would not be pulled under, she would not accept her fate, and she would fight to rule her own damned destiny. With a final rush of energy pulled from the deepest pit of her reserves, Cat surged forward just as a wave caught her, lifting her and John up and tossing their bodies, like rag-dolls, against the great jagged rocks at the cliff base. She coughed in pain and surprise as she clung to the barnacles and cracks of the razor-sharp fragment of fallen cliff. To her great relief, John was at her side, clinging with first one hand and then the other, heaving himself up onto the rough boulder.

The great, firm hand of John Strong grabbed hold of the cloth of her dress and, as the swell pulled her back, he held on tight and determined. Cat grabbed his arm. She was just inches from the solid ground but had to fight with every ounce of her spirit to prevent her body being swept away. Then, as a wave crashed forward, she was carried up and onto the rock, smashing hard against the surface. Grasping onto the rough barnacles and jagged edges she found beneath her hands, Cat managed to cling against the cold, wet, and unforgiving rock. She spluttered and coughed trying to catch her breath. The water stung her eyes, she tasted blood and salt on her tongue, and there was an awkward trickle of water at the back of her throat that she tried in vain to swallow or cough away. Cat’s body was numb with cold. John began to traverse the uneven boulders, edging his way toward the safe landing and she followed his lead with difficulty. Another wave crashed against them but didn’t have the height or strength to pull either of them from their perches and they could continue their careful escape.

It was only a few feet to safety but every inch forward seemed to take an eternity. The sun was clear of the horizon by the time the two smugglers finally crawled, bloody, soaked, and exhausted, onto the Cat’s arms, weak and tired from the swim, smooth, seaweed strewn, undulating struggled to hold her weight. As a second surface of black rock. It was a natural pier wave crashed over her she didn’t have the jutting several hundred yards out to sea. strength left to hold on and was torn from her landing. John took a deep, long breath. Cat noticed his hands and feet were bleeding and But the sea had not won. began to inspect her own wounds. Jagged CURIOSITALES

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cuts littered her hands and arms stinging from the salt and, without the sea to wash it away, blood was beginning to trickle across her skin. Her jaw was starting to throb and Cat realised that her face was likely to be in a worse state than her limbs. Clawing their way up the old cliff path was always going to be hard but with their limbs torn to shreds, Cat thought it may just be impossible. At least she still had her boots but poor old John’s feet were bare. From their refuge, the curve of the cliff surrounding the bay masked their view of the beach and the crashing of the waves muffled any sounds of shouting or gunfire. But they could be sure that the Revenue Men would still be there perhaps even attempting a chase. The pair exchanged a glance. Nothing needed to be said; they could see the grim determination in one another’s eyes. It was Cat who made the first move. Unsteadily, she heaved herself onto her feet and did her best to wring the water from her clothes, staining them with blood in the process. She stood, hands on hips, assessing the climb. There was a well-worn track, like a zigzagging scar, carved into the cliff-face by a thousand footsteps but it was narrow with many a sheer drop along the way. Cat hadn’t attempted the climb since she was a child and, looking at it now, she thought she must have been possessed by a kind of madness to have attempted it then. She called out to John, “We could hide out here, just until they’ve left?” 110

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“Aye,” he called back, nodding as he surveyed the task before them, “but the tide be on the turn, Lass. We’ve mayn’t ‘ave an hour.” They had the choice of the sea, the noose, or the cliff. She chose the cliff. The first few feet of the path were easy enough but it narrowed as it rose and she left a trail of wet, bloodied handprints where she reached out for support. The grazes on her palms and fingers quickly filled with grit and, as irritating as this was, she was certain it was nothing to the suffering of poor John’s feet. She moved at a steady half crawl, half climb. The wind whipped at her skirts and her damp hair kept lashing across her face, occasionally blinding her. Stones and pebbles dislodged beneath her feet and she found she had to slide along rather than walk to ensure a sturdy foothold. She looked down to John, still there, like a great, old goat; slow, steady and determined. Below him was the black, shining rock, its pools glittering in the sun. One slip and that would be her final resting place. Cat steadied herself, her stomach swirled at the thought of the sudden freefalling plummet and then... she grabbed at the cliff, pressing her belly against it, closing her eyes, and trying to convince herself that she was on safe ground. But the wind at her back and the solid rock against her chest made her feel as if the world was on a sickening, tilted axis, and any moment it would tip too far and—


“Ye well, Cat?” called John from below. She managed a nod but realised he would not have been able to see such a small gesture. She wanted to call back to him but her voice wouldn’t come. Instead, she took a step onward and forced her body along the barely-there trail inch by painful inch.

poised stalled her for a moment. But Cat couldn’t bear to look down and couldn’t bear the thought of clinging any longer to the infernal rock. So, knowing she could be damned either way, Cat heaved herself up.

Her body strained almost beyond its limit, Cat reached up to the tufts of grassy fringe and felt around for a solid handhold to If she focused her whole mind on each pull her body up. Grabbing a great handtiny movement; on moving her hand ful of the dry grass and hoping the roots forward along the rock, grabbing the and earth would hold, Cat scrambled the next handhold, sliding her foot along the last few inches managing to get her arm smooth dirt of the narrow track and shift- over the top and, with the help of a tentaing her body weight sideward, slowly, tive foothold, she eased her head over the carefully... then she wouldn’t have the natural parapet glancing around for any space in her mind to think about what was sign of the posse. below or about what may be waiting for them above. If she focused on clawing her There was no one. way along, Cat could push away thoughts of twisted bodies lying bloodied on the The sun was long above the horizon and beach and of Luke’s face disappearing the promise of a warm, cloudless day was into a mist of his own sea-tainted blood. basking the coast in bright sunshine. The crash of sea against rocks was far below After what seemed like hours of painsand the gentle breeze was filled with the taking climbing, she reached up and rath- familiar cawing of gulls. er than bare rock she felt tufts of wiry, sand-grass that told her the summit was Wherever the Revenue Men were, it within her grasp. With wild relief, she wasn’t here. looked up at the grassy fringe of the cliff top just yards away. Cat could have cried. Cat heaved her torso over the top and She wished she could leap those final feet rolled onto the grass, panting with exjust as the sheep that frequented this path haustion. She felt her limbs would never would do in summer but instead she took work for her again but a call from below a deep breath, suppressing the joy that reminded her of one more task. Belly to threatened to overwhelm her and edged the earth, Cat leant over the edge and onward. stretched down to John, supplying him with a firm handhold to beat those last Suddenly the fear of what, or whom, may few feet to the top. be waiting for her at the top struck her. The image of another line of Revenue Finally, the smugglers lay desperate and Men standing in readiness, with muskets exhausted in the soft summer sun. CURIOSITALES

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“You well?” John asked, through heavy panting. “A few scratches, nothing more,” she knew his question went further but for now she was only willing to assess her wellness skin deep, “and you?” “Bruises, cuts, nothin’ broke,” he replied, matching her matter-of-fact tone.

as rough, hard, and weather-beaten as the cliff they had just climbed but his gentle soul was betrayed by those eyes. The small gesture said so much more than his words ever could and Cat had to choke back the tears that threatened to swell up at this simple sign of sympathy. It was then that they both knew, Cat Meadows had just lost everything.

Cat wanted to stay hidden, safe, and untroubled, and wait until the threat had passed. But she knew the posse was not going to simply pass through the village like a night shadow. Luke was dead. Most likely her men on the beach, Tommy, Fletcher, and poor, wounded, Old Smithy, were dead too. She hadn’t even seen what Niamh Murphy is a historian and novelist became of her last man, Joe, she realised specialising in adventure fiction with lesbian he must be lost too. As would be the main characters. She is passionate about exDutch sailors who’d delivered the rum. If perimenting with different genres and has a they hadn’t drowned or been shot already, fondness for romantic action and fantasy. She then they certainly would be caught for has written stories with vampires, werewolves, the noose. elves, magic, knights, sorceresses, and witches as well as contemporary and humorous stories, There was nothing more she could do for but always with a lesbian protagonist and an any of them. But her Inn, her home, and adventurous element to the tale. her village may yet be untouched. There was still a chance she could warn them Visit her website for a free book: and get people to safety. www.AuthorNiamh.com

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“We have to get to The Swan,” Cat said urgently. Suddenly John reached forward and grabbed her hand. He looked at her and squeezed. His hand was cold, bloodied, and bruised but his gesture was warm. She looked at his gentle eyes, dark and kind, piercing through the rugged, seadog features, greying, badger-like beard, and tough, leathery skin. John Strong was 112

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Around the World T

he Abbey Library of Saint Gall has one of the oldest collections in Europe and the oldest in Switzerland. Within its walls are 12 centuries worth of items. It’s been through a lot through the ages. In 937, the abbey was burnt down, but the library remained intact- great news for those still upset about the burning in Alexandria. Not what you were expecting from a 10th-century building? That’s because the collection was moved in the 18th century to the building we see today, replete with ornate Rococo architecture. The library and the abbey are together a World Heritage Site. This beautiful building alone might be worth a trip to St. Gallen, Switzerland, especially for book lovers. Though surrounded by such artistry it might be hard to actually read.

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