Fave Five: YA Audiobooks with Non-Binary MCs

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Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy, narrated by E.R. Fightmaster

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, narrated by MW Cartozio Wilson

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, narrated by Deryn Edwards

Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore, narrated by Vico Ortiz and Avi Roque

The One True Me and You by Remi K. England, narrated by Vico Ortiz and Laura Knight Keating

Exclusive Cover Reveal: In the Case of Heartbreak by Courtney Kae

I absolutely adored Courtney Kae’s In the Event of Love, which releases on the 30th from Kensington (you can read my love somewhere on the book, in fact!) so I’m thrilled to be revealing the cover of the next book in the Fern Falls series, In the Case of Heartbreak, a contemporary m/m Romance releasing from Kensington on April 25, 2023! Here’s the story:

When his hometown crush suddenly returns his affections at a seaside celebration, pastry chef Ben Parrish must find a way to pursue his dream of moving his bakery to San Francisco – without losing the love he’s always wanted…

Ben has been baking his grandma’s cinnamon rolls at the family café for years. He’s been quietly in love with Adam Reed, his musician-slash-mechanic neighbor, for just as long. But Ben’s done waiting behind the pastry case. He’s entered a make-or-break competition to show off his own recipes. He’s going to buy his overprotective family out of the business. And he’s going to ask Adam out. TONIGHT.

Except his big plans get punched down before they even half-rise. Soon Ben is dashing down the coast to his grandma’s 80th birthday party on the beach, hiding his broken heart in Maywell Bay, California. Sun, sea, and fresh breezes should blow in something new—except they don’t. They blow in Adam Reed, grinning like a pirate and stealing the show as the musical entertainment hired by Grandma for her big bash. Grandma’s signature Heartbreak Tea is the only remedy, and Grandma’s tea could take the paint off a fence.

But there’s a burn of truth along with the booze in his bottle, and Ben has a decision to make. Can he take the sweetness in front of him, and brave the bitterness that comes after? Or is a little sea salt just what this cinnamon roll needs?

Salty cinnamon rolls? Ew. Ben would never.

And here’s the sweet-and-breezy cover designed by Kris Noble with art by Monika Roe!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | B-A-M | IndieBound | Hudson

Courtney Kae is the author of sweet and steamy romance novels that give her bi little heart great joy. She lives in Southern California with her husband, child, and growing hoard of plants. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @court_kae and online at CourtneyKaeBooks.com.

 

Fave Five: YA About Queer Boys with Depression

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves

We Are the Ants and At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

New Releases: August 2022

Riley Reynolds Crushes Costume Day by Jay Albee (1st)

Note: This is the first book in a new series that has four books releasing on this date.

60403195It’s book week at school, and nonbinary fourth grader Riley and their best friends craft hard for the Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day. Colorful fabric! Paint! Glitter! They are ready to make the biggest and best group costume ever! But most of the other kids are having trouble coming up with costumes. Riley is ready to use their creativity and vision to help as many kids as possible so dress-up day will be a big success!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Continue reading New Releases: August 2022

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Skating on Mars by Caroline Huntoon

Always a delight to get to reveal a great queer Middle Grade cover, and today’s is none other than Skating on Mars by Caroline Huntoon, a nonbinary contemporary MG releasing from Feiwel & Friends on May 30, 2023! Here’s the story:

Life isn’t easy on twelve-year-old Mars. As if seventh grade isn’t hard enough, Mars is also grappling with the recent death of their father and a realization they never got to share with him: they’re nonbinary. But with their skates laced up and the ice under their feet, all of those struggles melt away. When Mars’ triple toe loop draws the attention of a high school hot shot, he dares them to skate as a boy so the two can compete head-to-head. Unable to back down from a challenge, Mars accepts. But as the competition draws near, the struggles of life off the rink start to complicate their performance in the rink, and Mars begins to second guess if there’s a place for them on the ice at all.

And here’s the icetastic cover, illustrated by Violet Tobacco and designed by L. Whitt!

Alt text: The title “Skating on Mars” fills the top half of the image; a young figure skater with short hair, black clothing, and white skates poses with a lightning bolt across their chest; in the ice below the skater’s feet there is a rainbow and the reflection of the skates is black; at the bottom, there is the name “Caroline Huntoon”

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | Booksweet (signed copies!)

Caroline Huntoon is an author and educator. They write middle grade fiction across genres. Caroline lives with their feisty child, Winifred, in Ypsilanti, MI. Skating on Mars is their debut novel and will be published on May 30, 2023 by Feiwel and Friends. Find out more about Caroline and their work at CarolineHuntoon.com.

July 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Author of THE DUKE UNDONE Joanna Lowell‘s A SHORE THING, in which a transmasculine artist falls for a renowned cis woman botanist as they compete in a shoreside bicycle race in this beach-set Victorian romance, to Kate Seaver at Berkley, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Tara Gelsomino at One Track Literary Agency (world).

Two-time Hugo Award finalist Chuck Tingle‘s CAMP DAMASCUS, in which a group of queer friends begin to realize their memories of surviving a hellish gay conversion therapy camp have been stolen from them; and a second standalone novel, BURY YOUR GAYS, to Kelly Lonesome at Nightfire, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in July 2023 and summer 2024, by DongWon Song at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (NA).

Author of CHEF’S KISS TJ Alexander‘s SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN, in which a down-on-his-luck, early-40s trans comedian begrudgingly returns to his outlandish Floridian hometown for the first time in decades, only to run into his high school ex-boyfriend, who’s inexplicably gotten hotter with time and soon throws into question where nostalgia ends and where moving on begins, to Lara Jones at Emily Bestler Books, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in December 2023, by Larissa Melo Pienkowski at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (world).

Lambda Award-winning author of SKYE FALLING Mia McKenzie’s DORIS STEELE, a comic novel about a pious, small-town teenager who travels to Atlanta in 1960 to get an abortion and finds herself smack in the middle of the civil rights movement and the secret lives of queer Black people, ultimately discovering the transformative power of leaving your bubble, even for just one chaotic weekend, to Caitlin McKenna at Random House, by Alexa Stark at Writers House (world).

Columbia MFA alum and Lambda Literary inaugural fellow Douglas Jones’s PRIME REAL ESTATE, set in Atlanta as the 1996 Olympics loom, following two Black men confronting their roles in displacing Black residents to make way for the Opening ceremony while coming to terms with their own sexuality, to Yahdon Israel at Simon & Schuster, in a pre-empt, by Haley Heidemann at William Morris Endeavor.

Author of CITY OF A THOUSAND FEELINGS Anya Johanna DeNiro‘s OKPSYCHE, a surreal short novel from the perspective of a trans woman navigating dystopia, anxiety, and motherhood, to Kelly Link at Small Beer Press, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2023 (world).

Andrew Wilmot’s WITHERED, in which a nonbinary student moves to a small, haunted town after reaching a low point with their mental health, to Terese Mason Pierre at ECW Press, with Jennifer Albert editing, by Kelvin Kong at K2 Literary (world).

Lambda Award-winning author of FLAMER and the Little Elliot picture books Mike Curato‘s GAYSIANS, a humorous graphic novel about an ensemble of queer Asian American friends in 2000s Seattle as they carve out space for themselves and navigate friendships, relationships, racism, and transphobia, to Betsy Gleick and Mae Zhang McCauley at Algonquin, at auction, by Brenda Bowen at The Book Group (world).

T M Payne‘s regional police procedural series set in Liverpool, following a tortured and authentic detective with a strong moral compass, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, to Victoria Haslam at Thomas & Mercer, in a three-book deal, for publication in March 2024, October 2024, and March 2025, by Broo Doherty at DHH Literary (world English).

Fulbright scholar Mary Liza Hartong’s HOT CHICKEN, pitched as Schitt’s Creek meets Dumplin’, a Southern novel about a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt who returns to her small Tennessee hometown for her father’s funeral and picks up work at a hot chicken shack, where she falls in love with another young woman and has to find a way forward for herself, her feisty mother, and her new love, to Rachel Kahan at William Morrow, in a nice deal, for publication in winter/spring 2024, by Janna Bonikowski at The Knight Agency (world English).

Pitch Wars mentee KT Hoffman‘s THE KEYSTONE COMBINATION, pitched as Red, White & Royal Blue meets Ted Lasso, a rom-com about what happens when the first openly trans professional baseball player in history is forced to share the infield with his arch nemesis—a standoffish, super-talented, and inconveniently gorgeous player, to Katy Nishimoto at Dial Press, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Allison Hunter at Trellis Literary Management (NA).

Asha Thanki’s A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE, a queer literary speculative novel tracing three generations of mothers and daughters—spanning from the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan through to contemporary Brooklyn—who are connected by an ancient tapestry through which they inherit all the memories of their foremothers, to Nidhi Pugalia at Viking, at auction, by Stephanie Delman and Danya Kukafka at Trellis Literary Management (NA).

Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction

Middle school English teacher and GrubStreet Novel Incubator graduate Karen Wilfrid’s JUST LIZZIE, about an eighth grader whose study of asexual reproduction in science class leads her to understand her own asexual identity as she embarks on a journey toward self-discovery and self-advocacy, to Lily Kessinger at Clarion, at auction, for publication in fall 2023, by Lauren Scovel at Laura Gross Literary Agency (NA).

Rainie Oet’s THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, a picture book about a nonbinary child who is swept off to their surprise birthday party full of dreamlike creatures and magical, poignant moments, illustrated by Mathias Ball, to Susan Dobinick at Astra, for publication in spring 2024, by Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates for the author, and by Natascha Morris at The Tobias Literary Agency for the illustrator (world).

Stonewall and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize award winning creator Harry Woodgate‘s GRANDAD’S PRIDE, a sequel to Grandad’s Camper, this time honoring the past and celebrating the future with a Pride parade, to Sue Buswell at Andersen Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in April 2023, by Alice Sutherland-Hawes at ASH Literary (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Elisa Bonnin‘s EXILES OF ELLERY WEST, a dark academia YA novel following a queer Filipino-American girl who returns as a probationary student to the acclaimed Ellery Academy of Magic, only to find her past—an accident involving dark magic that caused the death of her best friend—is far from behind her, and teams up with the other probationary classmates to prevent more deaths, even if it risks having her magic sealed away forever, to Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends, for publication in spring 2024, by Natalie Lakosil and Antoinette Van Sluytman at Irene Goodman Agency (world).

Cecilia Vinesse‘s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, following a bisexual film club nerd’s attempts to make her ex jealous by pretending to date his new girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend, who happens to be her ultra-cool next-door neighbor; as she gets deeper into the charade, she realizes why “fake dating” is such a tried-and-true movie trope—and that her heart’s in danger of being broken again, to Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (NA).

Literary agent Lee Paige O’Brien’s A HUNDRED VICIOUS TURNS and an untitled sequel in The Broken Tower series, following the nonbinary heir to a powerful magical bloodline with the unsettling ability to find doorways that no one else can see, who finds themself drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse at an elite magic university when a malevolent force follows them back through the passages, to Emily Daluga at Amulet, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media (world English).

Laura Steven’s THE SOCIETY FOR SOULLESS GIRLS, a dark contemporary thriller with a supernatural twist pitched as a sapphic retelling of Jekyll & Hyde set at a haunted university, which follows two roommates who must solve an infamous cold case of serial murders on campus after an arcane soul-splitting ritual gone wrong prompts another death, to Hannah Hill at Delacorte, for publication in fall 2023, by Juliette Clark at Farshore (US). (Note: this book has already been released in the UK.)

Danish cartoonist Jam Aden‘s LOVE, MISHA, pitched as A Goofy Movie meets Spirited Away, about a nonbinary teen and their mother who, during a contentious road trip, take a wrong turn that lands them in the realm of the spirits, where they are surrounded by trickster spirits who aren’t so keen on human trespassers, with no obvious way out, to Samia Fakih at First Second, for publication in spring 2025, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

NYT-bestselling author of CEMETERY BOYS Aiden Thomas‘s CEMETERY BOYS 2, a sequel told from Julian’s point-of-view, pitched as The Sixth Sense meets Final Destination, when a monster starts creating malingo spirits in East L.A., to Holly West at Feiwel and Friends, in a good deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2024, by Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

Non-Fiction

Transgender writer Stacy Jane Grover‘s TAR HOLLOW TRANS, a debut collection of personal essays that tracks the author’s attempts and ultimate failure to write themselves into a recognizable transgender, Appalachian identity, to Abby Freeland at University Press of Kentucky, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2023.

Appalachian bookseller and cofounder of Atlas Books Davis Shoulders’s QUEER COMMUNION: APPALACHIAN QUEERS & RELIGION, a collection of essays that examines how Queer individuals reimagine their relationship to spiritual communities and religious institutions, to Abby Freeland at University Press of Kentucky, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2024.

Ed Emcee Dr. Anthony Keith Jr’s HOW THE BOOGEYMAN BECAME A POET, a YA memoir-in-verse tracing the author’s journey from being a closeted-gay Black high school teenager battling against poverty, racism, White supremacy, and homophobia to becoming an openly gay first-generation college student who finds unexpected freedom in poetry; and KNUCKLEHEAD, a poetry collection which takes the form of a tender love letter from an openly gay Black man to Black men and boys everywhere, to Ben Rosenthal at Katherine Tegen Books, in a significant deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2024 and winter 2025, by Annie Hwang at Ayesha Pande Literary (NA).

Queer artist with ADHD and creator of the Instagram account @blessthemessy Jess Bird’s BLESS THE MESSY, an illustrated personal development book that speaks candidly about inclusivity, acceptance, and radical self-love, and inspires readers to reframe chaos and mess as tools for growth and change, to Veronica Alvarado at Simon Element, in a pre-empt, by Kate Woodrow at Present Perfect (world English).

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Immeasurable Depth of You by Maria Ingrande Mora

Today on the site I’m delighted to be revealing another cover for Maria Ingrande Mora, this one for their upcoming bisexual supernatural coming-of-age YA The Immeasurable Depth of You, which releases from Peachtree Teen on March 7, 2023! Here’s the story:

How do you face your fears when everything is terrifying?

Fifteen-year-old Brynn can’t stop thinking about death. Her intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety leave her feeling helpless—and hopeless. So after her mom interprets one of Brynn’s blog posts as a suicide note, she takes extreme measures, confiscating Brynn’s phone, blocking her Internet access, and banishing her to stay with her father, who lives “off the grid” on a houseboat in the Florida mangroves. Isolated from her online friends—her only friends—Brynn resigns herself to a summer of mind-numbing boredom and loneliness . . . until Skylar appears.
Skylar is everything Brynn isn’t—sultry, athletic, and confident. Yet Brynn feels at home around this fearless girl who pushes her to try new things and makes her belly flutter with nerves that have nothing to do with anxiety. When Brynn discovers that Skylar is trapped in the bayou and can’t tell her why, she resolves to free her new crush from the dark waters, even if it means confronting all of her worst fears.

In the devastating but uplifting tradition of Adam Silvera and Nova Ren Suma comes a queer, supernatural coming-of-age story from acclaimed author Maria Ingrande Mora.

And here’s the haunting cover, illustrated by J.A.W. Cooper and designed by Lily Steele!

Alt text: In this muted illustrated cover, a girl  with light brown skin and brown chin-length hair stands in a bra and shorts looking down at the water, beneath which lies a thinner blond white girl in a yellow bikini reaching up to the surface of the water. Pink leaves and the yellow reflections of birds dot the water, and the title reads “The Immeasurable Depth of You.” The author’s name, Maria Ingrande Mora, is printed in all-caps across the bottom in pink.

Here’s a word from the author!

The Immeasurable Depth of You is about resilience,” shares author Maria Ingrande Mora. “Brynn is forced into a situation that triggers her anxiety at every turn — she doesn’t know how to act around her estranged dad, Florida has truly unreasonable wildlife, and she can’t get online or text for the whole summer. Personally, I’d curl up in a ball and cry for three months. But Brynn has spent her whole life learning to coexist with discomfort. She is so much more resilient than she thinks. I hope readers are inspired by Brynn’s messy courage and the way she feels things with her whole chest. Also there’s a manatee. J.A.W Cooper’s stunning illustration captures the in-between state Brynn exists in during her summer away from home and real life. It was important to me to ground the cover in the setting, in the beautiful eeriness of tropical wetlands. Cooper executed that perfectly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they depicted Brynn and Skylar in the place they find each other.”

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

(c) Brittany Echemendia

Maria Ingrande Mora (they/she) is a content strategist and the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy, Fragile Remedy (Flux, March 2021), a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Their love languages are snacks, queer joy, and live music. A graduate of the University of Florida, Maria lives near a wetlands preserve with two cats, two teenagers, and two billion mosquitoes.

Fave Five: Adult Fiction Set in the 1980s

My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson (NYC)

Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski (Poland)

No Other World by Rahul Mehta (US, India)

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (London)

Jobs for Girls With Artistic Flair by June Gervais (Long Island)

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa

Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is one of my all-time favorite gay YA romances, so I’m extra thrilled to be revealing the cover of their gorgeous new book on the site today! Ander and Santi Were Here is about a a nonbinary Mexican-American teen muralist who falls in love with an undocumented Mexican waiter at their family’s taqueria, and it releases April 11, 2023 from Wednesday Books! Here’s the official blurb:

Finding home. Falling in love. Fighting to belong.

The Santos Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, is all Ander Lopez has ever known. The smell of pan dulce. The mixture of Spanish and English filling the streets. And, especially their job at their family’s taquería. It’s the place that has inspired Ander as a muralist, and, as they get ready to leave for art school, it’s all of these things that give them hesitancy. That give them the thought, are they ready to leave it all behind?

To keep Ander from becoming complacent during their gap year, their family “fires” them so they can transition from restaurant life to focusing on their murals and prepare for college. That is, until they meet Santiago Garcia, the hot new waiter. Falling for each other becomes as natural as breathing. Through Santi’s eyes, Ander starts to understand who they are and want to be as an artist, and Ander becomes Santi’s first steps toward making Santos Vista and the United States feel like home.

Until ICE agents come for Santi, and Ander realizes how fragile that sense of home is. How love can only hold on so long when the whole world is against them. And when, eventually, the world starts to win.

And here’s the stunning cover, designed by Kerri Resnick and illustrated by Max Reed!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Jonny Garza Villa (they/them) is an author of contemporary young adult literature with characters and settings inspired by their own Tejane, Chicane, and queer identities. Whatever the storyline, Jonny ultimately hopes Latines, and, more specifically, queer Mexican American young people will feel seen in their writing. Their debut YA novel Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was a Pura Belpré Honor Book and a Kirkus Best YA Fiction of 2021 selection. When not writing, Jonny enjoys reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons, visiting taquerías, listening to Selena, and caring for their many cacti children. They live in San Antonio.

Queering up your shelf, one rec at a time!