December 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Neurodiverse and intersex author Phoenix Blackwood’s New Adult THE LOVE THAT BINDS US, a sequel to THE SECRETS THAT KILL, in which the protagonist is thrown out of her home when her mother discovers her relationship with her nonbinary transmasculine partner; when she moves in with him, she discovers that she is intersex and works to overcome past medical trauma, to Kisstopher Musick at Cinnabar Moth, in a nice deal, for publication in April 2023 (world English).

Hugo and Lambda award winning author and editor Bogi Takács’s POWER TO YIELD AND OTHER STORIES, 10 pieces spanning speculative genres from science fiction to the new weird, featuring chaotic interspecies cooperation, an AI child discovering Jewish mysticism, rental apartments that drink your blood, and a novella focusing on neurodivergent people trying to survive on a planetoid where thoughts shape reality, to Scott Gable at Broken Eye, in a nice deal, at auction, for publication in spring 2023 (world English).

Izzy Wasserstein’s THESE FRAGILE GRACES, THIS FUGITIVE HEART, a cyberpunk novella set in a future Kansas City devastated by fascism and climate change, in which a trans woman returns to the commune she abandoned to investigate the murder of her ex, and finds she must confront her own past if she hopes to save the people she loves, to Jacob Weisman at Tachyon Publications, with Jaymee Goh editing, by Dorian Maffei at Kimberley Cameron & Associates (world English).

Rona Jaffe Foundation Award recipient Temim Fruchter’s CITY OF LAUGHTER, part speculative queer family history and part folklore, tracing four generations of Jewish women who are bound by blood, half-hidden secrets, and the fantastical visitation of a shapeshifting stranger over the course of 100 years, set against a tapestry of real and invented Jewish mythology, to Amy Hundley at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in early 2024, by Stephanie Delman at Trellis Literary Management (world).

Soula Emmanuel‘s WILD GEESE, the story of an Irish trans woman living in Scandinavia who unexpectedly reconnects with her first love over the course of one fateful weekend, reigniting memories she thought she’d left behind, to Nick Whitney at Feminist Press, for publication in fall 2023, by Olivia Maidment at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (NA).

Author of CALLING THE SHOTS Kelly Farmer‘s IT’S A FABULOUS LIFE, pitched as a sapphic retelling of the holiday movie classic, in which a realtor with big city dreams once again puts her plans on hold to help manage her small town’s winter festival and, with the aid of angelic drag queens, reconnects with her high school crush, to Holly Ingraham at Alcove Press, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary Agency (world).

World Fantasy Award finalist R.B. Lemberg‘s THE YOKE OF STARS, a Birdverse novella in which a rebel who has escaped a remote egalitarian community and a linguist who has left behind an abusive marriage negotiate an assassination contract, only to find how their lives intersect in unusual ways, involving sea serpent shape shifters, fallen stars, and a powerful magical family, to Jacob Weisman at Tachyon Publications, with Jaymee Goh editing, in an exclusive submission, by Mary C. Moore at Kimberley Cameron & Associates (world English).

K Arsenault Rivera‘s OATH OF FIRE, pitched as a sapphic Eros and Psyche retelling with a fairy court feel, to Leah Hultenschmidt at Grand Central, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in early 2024, by Sara Megibow at kt literary (world).

Author of CHEF’S KISS TJ Alexander‘s EDEN’S END, a trans regency romance featuring a man of unusual make whose penchant for privacy is upended when he is given the dreadful task of finding a wife by the end of the London season if he wants to keep his estate—a situation further complicated by his intriguing new valet, who is harboring a secret of his own, to Anna Kaufman at Vintage, in a very nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2025, by Larissa Melo Pienkowski at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (NA).

Children’s/MG Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Author-illustrator Tai Manzano’s SING WITH ME, a contemporary YA graphic novel about queer first love pitched as Check, Please! meets Yuri on Ice, set in Mexico in the high-stakes world of competitive charreria, to Elizabeth Lazowski at Chronicle Children’s, for publication in 2025, by Tamara Kawar while at ICM/CAA (world).

Author of RIGHT WHERE I LEFT YOU and upcoming AS YOU WALK ON BY Julian Winters‘s PRINCE OF THE PALISADES, pitched as RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE meets Netflix’s Young Royals, where a roguish prince of Iles de la Reverie goes to America to clean up his image after a horribly public breakup goes viral, and ends up falling for a not-so-royal American boy who might be a fairy-tale romance come true—or another disaster in the making, to Dana Leydig at Viking Children’s, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (world English).

Author of THE SPY WHO RAISED ME and MOTH & WHISPER Ted Anderson‘s graphic novel THE MASKED PRINCESS, in which a high schooler cosplaying his childhood-favorite character at an anime con unwittingly becomes an overnight hero after helping a fellow cosplayer, and ends up exploring his gender and discovering new aspects of his identity amid the backdrop of fandom and sudden fame, illustrated by Ollie Roswell, to Samia Fakih at First Second, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2025, by Jennifer Chen Tran while at Bradford Literary Agency for the author, and by Paloma Hernando at Einstein Literary Management for the illustrator (world).

Marisa Kanter‘s FINALLY FITZ, a queer rom-com in which a fashion influencer reeling from a breakup enlists her former best friend to pose as her boyfriend during a summer program in New York City to make her ex-girlfriend jealous, only to realize that the relationship she wants to repair might be the one she’s faking, to Alexa Pastor at Simon & Schuster Children’s, for publication in spring 2024, by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary (world).

Non-Fiction

Professor of English and linguistics at Los Angeles City College Lane Igoudin’s A FAMILY, MAYBE: TWO DADS, TWO BABIES, AND THE COURT CASE THAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER, part gay memoir, part family drama, set against the LGBTQ+ civil rights struggle of the early 2000s, in which a Russian-Jewish immigrant and his African American partner battle the Los Angeles County foster and family court systems and a teenage birth mother to adopt two babies and build the family they’ve always dreamed of, to Alena Rivas and Kelly Zatlin at Ooligan Press, in a nice deal, for publication in February 2024 (world English).

Fermilab physicist Jessica Esquivel’s OUR QUEER UNIVERSE: DECONSTRUCTING DEFINITIONS, PRODUCING PARTICLE BEAMS, AND EXAMINING ENTANGLED IDENTITIES, describing the physics and engineering of a particle beam and using it as a metaphor for the author’s journey through academia as a Black, Mexican, neurodivergent queer woman who also happens to love the ethereal elegance of physics, to Jermey Matthews at MIT Press, for publication in fall 2025, by Jessica Papin at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (NA).

Contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and n+1, and a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Evan Kindley’s STILL IN THE PUBLISHED CITY, a group biography of the New York School of Poets, telling the intertwined stories of John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, and Amiri Baraka, the intersections of various artistic and cultural scenes, as well as reading their influential poetry in light of politics, race, sexuality, and a rapidly changing New York, to Daniel Halpern at Knopf, by Elias Altman at Massie & McQuilkin (NA).

Author of A MILLION QUIET REVOLUTIONS Robin Gow‘s A MUSEUM FOR THAT WHICH NO LONGER EXISTS, which explores the history of a Berlin institute burned during World War II that was one of the first to affirm trans and queer people, and reimagines in poetry a museum where these artifacts and people are kept safe from destruction, to Leah Angstman at Alternating Current, in a nice deal, for publication in November 2023 (world English).

Pastor, founder of Unfit Christian, and spiritual doula for Black, queer, and marginalized-gender people D. Danyelle Thomas‘s THE DAY GOD SAW ME AS BLACK, answering “What do I do with a Christian faith that feels less comfortable for me as I better understand myself, my gender, my sexuality, and what it means to be Black in America?” with essays exploring Black faith experiences through the lens of gender, race, sexuality, and class consciousness, interwoven with the author’s personal narrative of her faith journey and critical cultural analysis, to Tamela Gordon at Row House, for publication in August 2024 (world).

Museum of the Moving Image editorial director and author of FILMS OF ENDEARMENT Michael Koresky‘s SICK AND DIRTY, a 21st-century rethinking of Vito Russo’s THE CELLULOID CLOSET that celebrates the presence of queerness onscreen, behind the camera, and between the lines during the dark days of the Hollywood Production Code, and reclaims certain controversial, misunderstood films as neglected classics, to Ben Hyman at Bloomsbury, by Farley Chase at Chase Literary Agency (NA).

Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices fellow and Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholar Thomas Dai‘s TAKE MY NAME BUT SAY IT SLOW, a memoir-in-essays exploring the intersection of place and identity through the lens of the author’s experience growing up queer and Asian American in the South, questioning the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what it means to be “in-between,” to Helen Thomaides at Norton, by Christopher Combemale at Sterling Lord Literistic (NA).

Authors in Conversation: Miranda Dubner and Fox North

Today on the site, please welcome Fox North, author of The Chaos Agents, which published this past October, and Miranda Dubner, author of The Spare, which released in April 2020, who are here to chat about taking queer historical subtext and making them straight-up text (no pun intended). More about the books at the bottom of the post, but let’s get to the conversation!

Miranda: Hello friend.

Continue reading Authors in Conversation: Miranda Dubner and Fox North

Most Anticipated Young Adult Books: January-June 2023

This post contains titles published by HarperCollins. Please note that the HarperCollins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers, and this site very much supports that effort. Visit the HarperCollins Union linktree to learn how you can support their fight for a fair contract: linktr.ee/hcpunion.

Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell by Tobias Madden (January 3rd)

Seventeen-year-old gaymer Noah Mitchell only has one friend left: the wonderful, funny, strictly online-only MagePants69. After years playing RPGs together, they know everything about each other, except anything that would give away their real life identities. And Noah is certain that if they could just meet in person, they would be soulmates. Noah would do anything to make this happen―including finally leaving his gaming chair to join a community theater show that he’s only mostly sure MagePants69 is performing in. Noah has never done anything like theater―he can’t sing, he can’t dance, and he’s never willingly watched a musical―but he’ll have to go all in to have a chance at love.

With Noah’s mum performing in the lead role, and former friends waiting in the wings to sabotage his reputation, his plan to make MagePants69 fall in love with him might be a little more difficult than originally anticipated.

And the longer Noah waits to come clean, the more tangled his web of lies becomes. By opening night, he will have to decide if telling the truth is worth closing the curtain on his one shot at true love.

Buy it: BookshopAmazon | IndieBound

Continue reading Most Anticipated Young Adult Books: January-June 2023

Most Anticipated Non-Fiction: January-June 2023

This post contains titles published by HarperCollins. Please note that the HarperCollins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers, and this site very much supports that effort. Visit the HarperCollins Union linktree to learn how you can support their fight for a fair contract: linktr.ee/hcpunion.

I Am Ace: Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life by Cody Daingle-Orions (January 19th)

I Am AceHow do I know if I’m actually sexual?

How do I come out as asexual?

What kinds of relationship can I have as an ace person?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, Cody is here to help. Within these pages lie all the advice you need as a questioning ace teen.

Tackling everything from what asexuality is, the asexual spectrum and tips on coming out, to intimacy, relationships, acephobia and finding joy, this guide will help you better understand your asexual identity alongside deeply relatable anecdotes drawn from Cody’s personal experience.

Whether you are ace, demi, gray-ace or not sure yet, this book will give you the courage and confidence to embrace your authentic self and live your best ace life.

Buy it: Waterstones | Book Depository

Bisexual Men Exist by Vaneet Mehta (January 19th)

Bisexual Men Exist“You’re just being greedy.”
“Are you sure you’re not gay?”
“Pick a side.”

Being a bisexual man isn’t easy – something Vaneet Mehta knows all too well. After spending more than a decade figuring out his identity, Vaneet’s coming out was met with questioning, ridicule and erasure. This experience inspired Vaneet to create the viral #BisexualMenExist campaign, combatting the hate and scepticism m-spec (multi-gender attracted spectrum) men encounter, and helping others who felt similarly alone and trapped.

This powerful book is an extension of that fight. Navigating a range of topics, including coming out, dating, relationships and health, Vaneet shares his own lived experience as well as personal stories from others in the community to help validate and uplift other bisexual men. Discussing the treatment of m-spec men in LGBTQ+ places, breaking down stereotypes and highlighting the importance of representation and education, this empowering book is a rallying call for m-spec men everywhere.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Black on Black by Daniel Black (January 31st)

Black on Black“There are stories that must be told.”

Acclaimed novelist and scholar Daniel Black has spent a career writing into the unspoken, fleshing out, through storytelling, pain that can’t be described.

Now, in his debut essay collection, Black gives voice to the experiences of those who often find themselves on the margins. Tackling topics ranging from police brutality to the AIDS crisis to the role of HBCUs to queer representation in the Black church, Black on Black celebrates the resilience, fortitude and survival of Black people in a land where their body is always on display.

As Daniel Black reminds us, while hope may be slow in coming, it always arrives, and when it does, it delivers beyond the imagination. Propulsive, intimate and achingly relevant, Black on Black is cultural criticism at its openhearted best.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H (February 7th)

Hijab Butch BluesWhen fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher–her female teacher–she covers up her attraction, an attraction she can’t yet name, by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. Born in South Asia, she moved to the Middle East at a young age and has spent years feeling out of place, like her own desires and dreams don’t matter, and it’s easier to hide in plain sight. To disappear. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything: when Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. Could Maryam, uninterested in men, be . . . like Lamya?

From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing on the faith and hope Nuh needed to construct his ark, begins to build a life of her own–ultimately finding that the answer to her lifelong quest for community and belonging lies in owning her identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant.

This searingly intimate memoir in essays, spanning Lamya’s childhood to her arrival in the United States for college through early-adult life in New York City, tells a universal story of courage, trust, and love, celebrating what it means to be a seeker and an architect of one’s own life.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance by Francesca Royster (February 7th)

As a multiracial household in Chicago’s North Side community of Rogers Park, race is at the core of Francesca T. Royster and her family’s world, influencing everyday acts of parenting and the conception of what family truly means. Like Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, this lyrical and affecting memoir focuses on a unit of three: the author; her wife Annie, who’s white; and Cecilia, the Black daughter they adopt as a couple in their forties and fifties. Choosing Family chronicles this journey to motherhood while examining the messiness and complexity of adoption and parenthood from a Black, queer, and feminist perspective. Royster also explores her memories of the matriarchs of her childhood and the homes these women created in Chicago’s South Side—itself a dynamic character in the memoir—where “family” was fluid, inclusive, and not necessarily defined by marriage or other socially recognized contracts.

Calling upon the work of some of her favorite queer thinkers, including José Esteban Muñoz and Audre Lorde, Royster interweaves her experiences and memories with queer and gender theory to argue that many Black families, certainly her own, have historically had a “queer” attitude toward family: configurations that sit outside the white normative experience and are the richer for their flexibility and generosity of spirit. A powerful, genre-bending memoir of family, identity, and acceptance, Choosing Family, ultimately, is about joy—about claiming the joy that society did not intend to assign to you, or to those like you.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Unsafe Words: Queering Consent in the #MeToo Era ed. by Shantel Gabrieal Buggs and Trevor Hoppe (February 10th)

Unsafe WordsQueer people may not have invented sex, but queers have long been pioneers in imagining new ways to have it. Yet their voices have been largely absent from the #MeToo conversation. What can queer people learn from the #MeToo conversation? And what can queer communities teach the rest of the world about ethical sex? This provocative book brings together academics, activists, artists, and sex workers to tackle challenging questions about sex, power, consent, and harm. While responding to the need for sex to be consensual and mutually pleasurable, these chapter authors resist the heteronormative assumptions, class norms, and racial privilege underlying much #MeToo discourse. The essays reveal the tools that queer communities themselves have developed to practice ethical sex—from the sex worker negotiating with her client to the gay man having anonymous sex in the back room. At the same time, they explore how queer communities might better prevent and respond to sexual violence without recourse to a police force that is frequently racist, homophobic, and transphobic.

Telling a queerer side of the #MeToo story, Unsafe Words dares to challenge dogmatic assumptions about sex and consent while developing tools and language to promote more ethical and more pleasurable sex for everyone.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Ace Notes: Tips and Tricks on Existing in an Allo WorldWhat is the ace lens?
Is my relationship queerplatonic?
Am I sex-favorable, sex-averse or sex-repulsed?

As an ace or questioning person in an oh-so-allo world, you’re probably in desperate need of a cheat sheet. Allow us to introduce your new asexual best friend, an essential resource serving up the life hacks you need to fully embrace the ace. Expect interviews with remarkable aces across the spectrum, advice on navigating different communities, and low-key ways to flaunt your ace identity.

Covering everything from coming out, explaining asexuality and understanding different types of attraction, to marriage, relationships, sex, consent, gatekeeping, religion, ace culture and more, this is the ultimate arsenal for whatever the allo world throws at you.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RGB by Leslie Karst (April 4th)

When Leslie Karst learned that her offer to cook dinner for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her renowned tax law professor husband, Marty, had been accepted, she was thrilled—and terrified. A small-town lawyer who hated her job and had taken up cooking as a way to add a bit of spice to the daily grind of pumping out billable hours, Karst had never before thrown such a high-stakes dinner party. Could she really pull this off?

Justice is Served is Karst’s light-hearted, earnest account of the journey this unexpected challenge launched her on—starting with a trip to Paris for culinary inspiration, and ending with the dinner itself. Along the way, she imparts details of Ginsburg’s transformation from a young Jewish girl from Flatbush, Brooklyn, to one of the most celebrated Supreme Court justices in our nation’s history, and shares recipes for the mouthwatering dishes she came up with as she prepared for the big night. But this memoir isn’t simply a tale of prepping for and cooking dinner for the famous RBG; it’s also about how this event, and all the planning and preparation that went into it, created a new sort of connection between Karst, her partner, and her parents, and also inspired Karst to make life changes that would reverberate far beyond one dinner party.

A heartfelt story of simultaneously searching for delicious recipes and purpose in life, Justice is Served is an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to discover—and follow—your deepest passion.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Yards Between Us by R. K. Russell (May 16th)

60021329In 2019, R.K. Russell broke the mold when he came out as bisexual in an essay for ESPN that ignited the sports world. Now, in his powerful memoir, The Yards Between Us, he shares his story and explores his love of football, men and women, walking the devastating tightrope of keeping his sexuality secret, the tension between his private and public lives, and the importance of crashing through barriers.

Told through the people and moments that have shaped him, Russell traces the highs and lows of his life in and out of football, from his early life as a shy kid struggling with the expectations on a Black boy and the pull between his quiet nature and his athletic ability,  to being drafted by his hometown team the Dallas Cowboys, and then on to seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills. And as his time in the sport comes into full bloom, Russell realizes that keeping his secret in the NFL is easier than in college when life and football are so much more connected to social worlds.

Through being cut, injured, and frustrating setbacks, Russell’s confidence lags as the secret of his sexuality weighs heavier and heavier. And when that frustration is combined with the devastating loss of his best friend and sole confidant, the darkness that follows also brings a deep understanding that perhaps it’s time to make a change. In Los Angeles, against the backdrop of the swaying palm trees and warm sands of Malibu, Russell falls in love and it’s the final push he needs to stand up for every part of himself—a professional athlete, a writer, a son, a friend, a lover, a bisexual Black man. In The Yards Between Us, R.K. Russell shows us the life-changing power of embracing who you are and fighting to make space so others can do the same.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

From Here by Luma Mufleh (May 16th)

In her coming-of-age memoir, refugee advocate Luma Mufleh writes of her tumultuous journey to reconcile her identity as a gay Muslim woman and a proud Arab-turned-American refugee.

With no word for “gay” in Arabic, Luma may not have known what to call the feelings she had growing up in Jordan during the 1980’s, but she knew well enough to keep them secret. It was clear that not only would her family have trouble accepting who she was, but trapped in a religious society, she could also be killed if anyone discovered she was gay. Luma spent her teenage years increasingly desperate to find a way out. After two suicide attempts, she finally realizes that to survive, she must leave the Middle East for good. While attending college in the United States, Luma endures the agonizing process of applying for political asylum, which ensures her safety—but causes her family to break ties with her.

Suddenly becoming a refugee in America is a rude awakening. Disowned, depressed, and broke, Luma must rely on the grace of both friends and strangers as she builds a tenuous new life finally embracing her full self. Slowly, she forges a new path forward with both her biological and chosen families, eventually founding Fugees Family, a nonprofit dedicated to the education and support of refugee children in the United States.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Lesbian Love Story by Amelia Possanza (May 30th)

When Amelia Possanza moved to Brooklyn to build a life of her own, she found herself surrounded by queer stories: she read them on landmark placards, overheard them on the pool deck when she joined the world’s largest LGBTQ swim team, and even watched them on TV in her cockroach-infested apartment. These stories inspired her to seek out lesbians throughout history who could become her role models, in romance and in life.

Centered around seven love stories for the ages, this is Possanza’s journey into the archives to recover the personal histories of lesbians in the twentieth century: who they were, how they loved, why their stories were destroyed, and where their memories echo and live on. Possanza’s hunt takes readers from a drag king show in Bushwick to the home of activists in Harlem and then across the ocean to Hadrian’s Library, where she searches for traces of Sappho in the ruins. Along the way, she discovers her own love—for swimming, for community, for New York City—and adds her record to the archive.

At the heart of this riveting, inventive history, Possanza asks: How could lesbian love help us reimagine care and community? What would our world look like if we replaced its foundation of misogyny with something new, with something distinctly lesbian?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero (May 30th)

As a young femme growing up in Manila in the 1990s, Geena Rocero endured shouts of bakla, bakla!, a Filipino taunt aimed at her feminine sway, whenever she left the little universe of her eskinita. Eventually she found her place in trans pageants, events as widely attended and culturally significant as a national sport, going to high school by day and competing by night. When her competitors denigrated her with the nickname “horse barbie,” due to her statuesque physique, tumbling hair, long neck, and dark skin, she leaned into the epithet, stepping onto stage with an undeniable charisma—part equine and all fashion. By seventeen, she was the Philippines’ most prominent and highest-earning trans pageant queen.

When she moved to the United States, Geena was able to change her name and gender marker on her documents, which wasn’t—and still isn’t—possible for trans people in the Philippines. But legal recognition didn’t come with any guarantee of safety. In order to survive, Geena went stealth and hid her trans identity, gaining one type of freedom and truth at the expense of another. For a while, it worked. Within a few years she’d become an in-demand model, appearing in music videos, billboards, and magazine campaigns, and was hailed as the epitome of feminine beauty. But as her star rose, her sense of self eroded. She craved acceptance as her authentic self, yet had to remain eternally vigilant in order to protect her dream career. The tenuous, high-stakes double life finally led Geena to a breaking point when she had to decide how to reclaim the power of Horse Barbie once and for all: radiant, head held high, and unabashedly herself.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Male Gazed by Manuel Betancourt (May 30th)

Manuel Betancourt has long lustfully coveted masculinity—in part because he so lacked it. As a child in Bogotá, Colombia, he grew up with the social pressure to appear strong, manly, and, ultimately, straight. And yet in the films and television he avidly watched, Betancourt saw glimmers of different possibilities. From the stars of telenovelas and the princes of Disney films to pop sensation Ricky Martin and teen heartthrobs in shows like Saved By the Bell, he continually found himself asking: Do I want him or do I want to be him?

The Male Gazed grapples with the thrall of masculinity, examining its frailty and its attendant anxieties even as it focuses on its erotic potential. Masculinity, Betancourt suggests, isn’t suddenly ripe for deconstruction—or even outright destruction—amid so much talk about its inherent toxicity. Looking back over decades’ worth of pop culture’s attempts to codify and reframe what men can be, wear, do, and desire, this book establishes that to gaze at men is still a subversive act.

Written in the spirit of Hanif Abdurraqib and Olivia Laing, The Male Gazed mingles personal anecdotes with cultural criticism to offer an exploration of intimacy, homoeroticism, and the danger of internalizing too many toxic ideas about masculinity as a gay man.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Very Gay Book by Nic Scheppard and Jenson Titus (June 6th)

A Very Gay BookFrom the creators of @verygaypaint, the immensely popular comedy design brand, A VERY GAY BOOK paints a cheeky and satirical portrait of the world where everything—from sports to science to soup—is gay.

Trees are gay. It’s why their branches brush up against each other so softly. Right-handed people are gay because that’s the first hand you use when you do the Macarena. Left-handed people are also gay. Magnets. Palindromes. All gay. A satirical textbook—including sections on history and heroes, customs and traditions—celebrating a very gay world, A Very Gay Book is an invitation to revel in the (both real and absurdly fictional) iconic successes of the LGBTQ+ community.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Pageboy by Elliot Page (June 6th)

“Can I kiss you?” It was two months before the world premiere of Juno, and Elliot Page was in his first ever queer bar. The hot summer air hung heavy around him as he looked at her. And then it happened. In front of everyone. A previously unfathomable experience. Here he was on the precipice of discovering himself as a queer person, as a trans person. Getting closer to his desires, his dreams, himself, without the repression he’d carried for so long. But for Elliot, two steps forward had always come with one step back.

With Juno’s massive success, Elliot became one of the world’s most beloved actors. His dreams were coming true, but the pressure to perform suffocated him. He was forced to play the part of the glossy young starlet, a role that made his skin crawl, on and off set. The career that had been an escape out of his reality and into a world of imagination was suddenly a nightmare.

As he navigated criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a past that snapped at his heels, and a society dead set on forcing him into a binary, Elliot often stayed silent, unsure of what to do, until enough was enough. Full of behind the scenes details and intimate interrogations on sex, love, trauma, and Hollywood, Pageboy is the story of a life pushed to the brink. But at its core, this beautifully written, winding journey of what it means to untangle ourselves from the expectations of others is an ode to stepping into who we truly are with defiance, strength, and joy.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Place for Us by Brandon J. Wolf (June 6th)

You never forget your first. First kiss. First love. First heartache. They all burrow their way into your subconscious, destined to reshape how you see the world forever.

Growing up in rural Oregon, Brandon Wolf grappled with the devastating loss of his supportive mother and with the embedded racism and homophobia of a community that made him feel like an unwelcome stranger. After the lack of connection and role models led him down a spiral of risky behavior, Wolf escaped to survive. In Orlando, he found what he’d been searching for: belonging―in a community that was a safe space with people he’d come to call his chosen family. They taught Wolf how to love, and be loved, unconditionally. Then, on June 12, 2016, in an exhilarating refuge where Wolf and hundreds of others had discovered a liberating new normal, they were suddenly challenged with fighting for a way out―in order to survive. Overnight, everything was ripped away by chaos, panic, and fear. But the unimaginable tragedy also gave Wolf a new power: purpose.

In this unforgettable coming-of-age memoir, Wolf shares his transformative journey from young outsider to galvanizing activist. Marshaling the compassion and strength of a community, Wolf explores how to get through the darkest times with healing, hope, and resistance. “With our backs against the wall,” he writes, “we find a way out together.”

Buy it:  Amazon | IndieBound

Leg: the Story of a Limb and the Boy Who Grew From It by Greg Marshall (June 13th)

61783798. sy475 Greg Marshall’s early years were pretty bizarre. Rewind the VHS tapes (this is the nineties) and you’ll see a lopsided teenager limping across a high school stage, or in a wheelchair after leg surgeries, pondering why he’s crushing on half of the Utah Jazz. Add to this home video footage a mom clacking away at her newspaper column between chemos, a dad with ALS, and a cast of foulmouthed siblings. Fast forward the tape and you’ll find Marshall happily settled into his life as a gay man only to discover he’s been living in another closet his whole life: he has cerebral palsy. Here, in the hot mess of it all, lies Greg Marshall’s wellspring of wit and wisdom.

Leg is an extraordinarily funny and insightful memoir from a daring new voice. Packed with outrageous stories of a singular childhood, it is also a unique examination of what it means to transform when there are parts of yourself you can’t change, a moving portrait of a family in crisis, and a tale of resilience of spirit. In Marshall’s deft hands, we see a story both personal and universal—of being young and wanting the world, even when the world doesn’t feel like yours to want.

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To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories by Sarah Viren (June 13th)

Sarah’s story begins as she’s researching what she believes will be a book about her high school philosophy teacher, a charismatic instructor who taught her and her classmates to question everything—in the end, even the reality of historical atrocities. As she digs into the effects of his teachings, her life takes a turn into the fantastical when her wife, Marta, is notified that she’s been investigated for sexual misconduct at the university where they both teach.

Based in part on a viral New York Times essay, To Name the Bigger Lie follows the investigation as it upends Sarah’s understanding of truth. She knows the claims made against Marta must be lies, and as she uncovers the identity of the person behind them and then tries, with increasing desperation, to prove their innocence, she’s drawn back into the questions that her teacher inspired all those years ago: about the nature of truth, the value of skepticism, and the stakes we all have in getting the story right.

A compelling, incisive journey into honesty and betrayal, this memoir explores the powerful pull of dangerous conspiracy theories and the pliability of personal narratives in a world dominated by hoaxes and fakes. To Name the Bigger Lie reads like the best of psychological thrillers—made all the more riveting because it’s true.

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Tar Hollow Trans: Essays ed. by Stacy Jane Grover (June 20th)

“I’ve lived a completely ordinary life, so much that I don’t know how to write a transgender or queer or Appalachian story, because I don’t feel like I’ve lived one. … Though, in searching for ways to write myself in my stories, maybe I can find power in this ordinariness.”

Raised in southeast Ohio, Stacy Jane Grover would not describe her upbringing as “Appalachian.” Appalachia existed farther afield―more rural, more country than the landscape of her hometown.

Grover returned to the places of her childhood to reconcile her identity and experience with the culture and the people who had raised her. She began to reflect on her memories and discovered that group identities like Appalachian and transgender are linked by more than just the stinging brand of social otherness.

In Tar Hollow Trans, Grover explores her transgender experience through common Appalachian cultural traditions. In “Dead Furrows,” a death vigil and funeral leads to an investigation of Appalachian funerary rituals and their failure to help Grover cope with the grief of being denied her transness. “Homeplace” threads family interactions with farm animals and Grover’s coming out journey, illuminating the disturbing parallels between the American Veterinary Association’s guidelines for ethical euthanasia and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s guidelines for transgender care.

Together, her essays write transgender experience into broader cultural narratives beyond transition and interrogate the failures of concepts such as memory, metaphor, heritage, and tradition. Tar Hollow Trans investigates the ways the labels of transgender and Appalachian have been created and understood and reckons with the ways the ever-becoming transgender self, like a stigmatized region, can find new spaces of growth.

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Most Anticipated Adult Fiction: January-June 2023

This post contains titles published by HarperCollins. Please note that the HarperCollins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers, and this site very much supports that effort. Visit the HarperCollins Union linktree to learn how you can support their fight for a fair contract: linktr.ee/hcpunion.

The New Life by Tom Crewe (January 3rd)

61273326In the summer of 1894, John Addington and Henry Ellis begin writing a book arguing that what they call “inversion,” or homosexuality, is a natural, harmless variation of human sexuality. Though they have never met, John and Henry both live in London with their wives, Catherine and Edith, and in each marriage there is a third party: John has a lover, a working class man named Frank, and Edith spends almost as much time with her friend Angelica as she does with Henry. John and Catherine have three grown daughters and a long, settled marriage, over the course of which Catherine has tried to accept her husband’s sexuality and her own role in life; Henry and Edith’s marriage is intended to be a revolution in itself, an intellectual partnership that dismantles the traditional understanding of what matrimony means.

Shortly before the book is to be published, Oscar Wilde is arrested. John and Henry must decide whether to go on, risking social ostracism and imprisonment, or to give up the project for their own safety and the safety of the people they love. Is this the right moment to advance their cause? Is publishing bravery or foolishness? And what price is too high to pay for a new way of living?

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Continue reading Most Anticipated Adult Fiction: January-June 2023

Fave Five: Queer YA Set in the 1930s

An Impossible Distance to Fall by Miriam McNamara

I’ll Take Everything You Have by James Klise 

Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Wip Wilson

Bonus: Tehlor Kay Mejia’s “Healing Rosa” in All Out , ed. by Saundra Mitchell, is set in 1933

Most Anticipated Middle Grade Fiction: January-June 2023

This post contains titles published by HarperCollins. Please note that the HarperCollins Union has been on strike since 11/10/22 to get a fair contract for their workers, and this site very much supports that effort. Visit the HarperCollins Union linktree to learn how you can support their fight for a fair contract: linktr.ee/hcpunion.

Cameron Battle and the Escape Trials by Jamar J. Perry (January 31st)

This is the sequel to Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms

After his first adventure as the Descendant, Cameron can’t sit through seventh grade classes. Especially when his mother is still trapped in Chidani and his father is still missing. But he encounters a particularly nasty bully in his new school, and it doesn’t take long for Cameron and his trusty friends Zion and Aliyah to realize that the troubles of Chidani won’t stay away for long.

With the Book to guide them, Cameron and his crew end up transported to Chidani sooner than anticipated–and the gods and goddesses they encounter don’t intend to make Cameron’s journey easy. Can he finally outwit and outlast the villainous god set on destroying their worlds?

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Continue reading Most Anticipated Middle Grade Fiction: January-June 2023

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Breakup, Makeup by Stacey Anthony

Today on the site, I’m delighted to reveal the cover for Stacey Anthony’s Breakup, Makeup, a m/nb YA romance releasing May 9, 2023 from Running Press Kids! Here’s the story:

Lovers turned cosplay rivals go head-to-head for a chance at their dream school . . . a maybe a second chance at love. 

Eli Peterson is a self-taught, up-and-coming makeup artist in the cosplay scene who is barely making ends meet. While they might be slaying it with their breathtaking looks, they’re also trying to save enough money for top surgery and convince their parents that their artistic dream is worthwhile. During a convention, Eli hears about Makeup Wars, a competition that could change everything . . .

The grand prize? A scholarship to Beyond, the best SFX school on the West Coast. The problem? Going head-to-head with the most talented up-and-coming makeup artists in the scene—including rival influencer Zachary Miller, their ex-boyfriend. Eli will have to juggle their makeup brushes, their rekindled feelings for Zach, and their self-doubt in order to win everything they’ve ever wanted: a chance to chase their dream and a second chance at love.

And here’s the cover, illustrated by Ricardo Bessa!

(Alt text: Two makeup influencers standing side-by-side in front of a countertop crowded with an assortment of makeup, cosplay materials, and costuming.)

Buy it: Bookshop | B&N | Amazon | Indigo | IndieBound

Stacey Anthony (they/them) is a non-binary tabletop gamer, amateur cosplayer, big time reader, excitable introvert, and a devoted pet parent. They collect patches from national parks, complain their way through yoga poses, and love to write happily ever afters. https://staceyanthony.carrd.co