I.S. Belle writes dark queer YA books with happy endings. She works in a bookshop and stops to pat dogs in the street. She has a Masters of Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. You can find her on Tiktok at @i.s.belle_writes and on Instagram @isbelleauthor.
Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover of Rien Gray’s F/NBi romantic suspense, Double Exposure, which releases September 4th! Here’s the story:
Love always shows your true face.
Jillian Rhodes lies to everyone she meets. As one of the world’s best art thieves, a life of infiltration and con artistry has left her flying solo, which is exactly the way she likes it. When Jillian is hired to steal a collection of photos belonging to the late—and deeply controversial—Russell Key from the Art Institute of Chicago, everything should be business as usual.
Except she has two problems: first, fellow master thief Sloane Caffrey also has their eye on the photos. Second, Sloane is her smoking hot ex.
Three years have passed since a messy breakup, but Jillian and Sloane have been getting vengeance on each other ever since. When the Key theft becomes their latest competition, love and loathing ride a fine, shaking line.
Trying to destroy each other should be simple. But confronting past mistakes is hard, especially when the entire job is starting to look like a setup to put Jillian and Sloane behind bars…
And here’s the cover, designed by the author themself!
Rien is a queer, nonbinary author of sapphic romance, erotica, and horror. They love writing steamy scenes, consent-informed kink, and hot criminal love interests who revel in the above. When not writing, Rien spends their time at the gym, making even more coffee, or angling for yet another platinum trophy in a video game.
A few pages into With Love, From Cold Worldby Alicia Thompson, which released yesterday from Berkley, and I already knew I had found a new favorite romance. Thompson writes such a great combination of straitlaced, anxious women and the sweet, fun boys who help soften them, but bisexual Asa has his own tough past that involves being rejected at home for being queer. This is one of the rare books that had me laughing, crying (a surprising amount), and very, very much swooning, and I cannot stop shouting about it from the rooftops, so go get yourself a copy! (And if lavender is your preferred cover color, treat yourself to the B&N Exclusive edition!)
Lauren Fox is the bookkeeper for Cold World, a tourist destination that’s always a winter wonderland despite being located in humid Orlando, Florida. Sure, it’s ranked way below any of the trademarked amusement parks and maybe foot traffic could be better. But it’s a fun place to work, even if “fun” isn’t exactly Lauren’s middle name.
Her coworker Asa Williamson, on the other hand, is all about finding ways to enliven his days at Cold World–whether that means organizing the Secret Santa or teasing Lauren. When the owner asks Lauren and Asa to propose something (anything, really) to raise more revenue, their rivalry heats up as they compete to come up with the best idea. But the situation is more dire than they thought, and it might take these polar opposites working together to save the day. If Asa thought Lauren didn’t know how to enjoy herself, he’s surprised by how much he enjoys spending time together. And if Lauren thought Asa wasn’t serious about anything, she’s surprised by how seriously he seems to take her.
As Lauren and Asa work to save their beloved wintery spot, they realize the real attraction might be the heat generating between them.
Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover of In the Ring by Sierra Isley, a YA contemporary about a bi Jewish girl named Rose who starts boxing to cope with her anxiety. In the Ring releases September 15, 2023 from Little Press, and here’s the story:
Rose Berman is losing her mind. At least, that’s what everyone at school seems to think. Plagued by panic attacks that started after her mother’s death, Rose is the target of frequent teasing and rumors. But when the star quarterback takes a joke too far, the school’s tattooed, cigarette-smoking time bomb — Elliott King — steps in and punches him in the face. Rose’s therapist recommends she try out a sport to manage her anxiety. She can’t help but think of Elliott – maybe if she could punch like him, she’d feel safer and stronger.
She sticks out like a sore thumb at the boxing gym, but she soon finds power in the sport and a reprieve from her panic attacks. As their worlds intertwine, Rose and Elliott are forced to face their most daunting opponent outside the Ring: their growing feelings for each other.
But Midtown Ring isn’t just a gym. As Rose falls deeper into the world of boxing, she learns Midtown is a front for a late-night, underground fight club where Elliott King is the headliner. Surrounded by violence and destruction, Rose’s anxiety begins to spiral. She starts hallucinating, just like her mother did before her death, leaving her to wonder if everyone at school might be right. If her newfound physical strength can’t keep her grounded in reality, she may be doomed to walk the same path as her mom.
Sierra Isley is a young adult author originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but currently based in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from Florida State University in 2021 with a degree in Editing, Writing and Media. Outside of writing, her passions include filmmaking, social media communications and drinking chai lattes. IN THE RING is her debut novel. You can visit her website: sierraisley.com for more information.
The last couple of years have been a dream for fans of queer cozy mystery like yours truly, and this lightly speculative series about a bisexual baker who feeds vengeance to men who deserve it is a personal fave for sure. The sequel just came out in February, so pick it up from the beginning with Magic, Lies, and Deadly Piesby Misha Popp (Crooked Lane Books) and fall in love with Daisy Ellery and her flaky crusts! By which I mean murderous tendencies. Obviously.
The first time Daisy Ellery killed a man with a pie, it was an accident. Now, it’s her calling. Daisy bakes sweet vengeance into her pastries, which she and her dog Zoe deliver to the men who’ve done dirty deeds to the town’s women. But if she can’t solve the one crime that’s not of her own baking, she’ll be out of the pie pan and into the oven.
Parking her Pies Before Guys mobile bakery van outside the local diner, Daisy is informed by Frank, the crusty diner owner, that someone’s been prowling around the van—and not just to inhale the delectable aroma. Already on thin icing with Frank, she finds a letter on her door, threatening to reveal her unsavory secret sideline of pie a la murder.
Blackmail? But who whipped up this half-baked plot to cut a slice out of Daisy’s business? Purple-haired campus do-gooder Melly? Noel, the tender—if flaky—farm boy? Or one of the abusive men who prefer their pie without a deadly scoop of payback?
The upcoming statewide pie contest could be Daisy’s big chance to help wronged women everywhere…if she doesn’t meet a sticky end first. Because Daisy knows the blackmailer won’t stop until her business is in crumbles.
It doesn’t come out until the last day of the month, but I can’t wait until then to shout about Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni, a bisexual f/f romance steeped in Armenian culture and crackling with chemistry. I loved witty Nar and passionate Erebuni, and, as a non-Armenian, learning lots, too. Hope you love it as much as I did!
When Nar’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.
Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or wealthy engineer who catches her eye—it’s Erebuni, a woman as equally immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her wingwoman, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so . . . sexy?
Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. The clock is ticking on Nar’s double life, though—the closing event banquet is coming up, and her entire extended family will be there, along with Erebuni. Her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave, determined to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.
No, the “Z” in the title isn’t a typo; Cynthia So’s 2022 bi contemp UK YA, If You Still Recognize Me, is coming stateside via HarperTeen on May 23, 2023, and we’ve got your first look at the brand-new cover! But first, here’s the story:
This summer, Elsie is finally going to confess her feelings to her longtime—and long-distance—crush. Ada’s fanfics are to die for, and she just gets Elsie like no one else. That is, until Joan, Elsie’s childhood best friend, literally walks back into her life and slots in like she had never moved away to Hong Kong and never ignored Elsie’s dozens of emails and letters.
Then Ada mentions her grandmother’s own long-lost pen pal (and maybe love?), a woman who once lived only a train ride away from Elsie’s Oxford home, and Elsie gets the idea for the perfect grand gesture. But as her plan to reunite the two older women ignites a summer of repairing broken bonds, Elsie starts to wonder if she, too, can recover the things she’s lost…
With a beautifully earnest teen voice, a light epistolary element, and a dash of fandom, this wistful and delightful debut is a love letter to queer coming-of-age, finding community, and finding yourself.
And here’s the dreamy cover, designed by Julia Tyler with art by Karyn Lee!
Alt text: Cover image for If You Still Recognize Me by Cynthia So. Two East Asian girls are standing against a background of the sky at sunset. The girl in the foreground, with short hair and a bomber jacket, is looking toward the viewer, while in the background a second girl with long hair and a yellow sundress is looking at her.
Cynthia So was born in Hong Kong and lives in London. Their work has been published in speculative fiction magazines such as Uncanny, Strange Horizons, and Anathema. When they’re not writing, they can often be found at the theatre, entranced by a play or a musical. They’re also extremely enthusiastic about board games and tabletop role-playing. If You Still Recognize Me is their first novel.
Today on the site, we’re welcoming Claire Winn to reveal the cover of City of Vicious Night (sequel to City of Shattered Light), a bi YA sci-fi with gay, aroace, and nonbinary rep, releasing May 23, 2023 from Flux Books! Here’s the story:
For the most hated crew on Requiem, the only way out is up.
It’s been four months since runaway heiress Asa crash-landed on matriarchal outlaw colony Requiem, bringing a nasty AI and host of deadly secrets with her. Now, she runs with almost-girlfriend Riven’s smuggler crew, stealing kisses between gunfights and heists. But when a mysterious hacker sabotages their latest job, other gangs turn against them, blaming them for the destruction the rogue AI caused. Nowhere in the city is safe.
The only way to protect their crew is a series of trials for control of an underworld faction–and vying for a matriarch’s throne is a dream Riven can’t let go. But as the trials intensify, the saboteur hounds Asa and Riven’s every step, determined to kill Asa and right her father’s wrongs. When the saboteur reveals a horrific conspiracy threatening all of Requiem–one involving the crew member they thought they’d lost–the girls must decide whether to risk their own skins for a city that loathes them.
And here’s the electrifying cover, illustrated by Sanjay Charlton!
A few words from the author:
This might be one of my favorite covers ever, and I keep finding myself staring at the artwork—the background is so vividly detailed that I still discover new things! Both main characters are fiercer than ever, and their new exosuits (and Riven’s sword) are ripped straight from the story. I love the eyeball-busting neon color scheme—fitting for a cutthroat outlaw city that’s half glitter and half grime. It’s so unique; the illustrator, Sanjay Charlton, did an amazing job.
Claire Winn spends her time immersed in other worlds—through LARP, video games, books, nerd conventions, and her own stories. Since graduating from Northwestern University, she’s worked as a legal and technical writer. Aside from writing, she builds cosplay props and armor, tears up dance floors, and battles with boffer swords.
You can follow her on: Twitter: @Atomic_Pixie Instagram: @clairewinnauthor
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.”
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.