Today on the site I’m delighted to welcome the one and only Natalie C. Parker, w ho’s revealing the cover of The Nameless Witch, “the wickedly exciting and queer sequel” to last year’s Middle Grade fantasy adventure The Devouring Wolf! The Nameless Witchis coming from Razorbill/Penguin on August 8, 2023, and here’s the story:
For fans of Soman Chainani, Anne Ursu, and stories with lots of magic, action and a big heart.
If you give your witch your name… …she’ll steal your magic and grind your bones…
After defeating the Devouring Wolf, Riley and her friends hoped they could leave scary legends behind and focus on being the best werewolves they can be. Nicknamed the Winter Pack because of when they turned, they’ve got a unique bond thanks to how different they are as a prime, and some of the other pups think they get special treatment. It’s all Riley and her friends can do to practice their magic skills, get all their homework done, and not let the other young wolves pick fights.
Suddenly their bond leads them to a new threat—a young witch on the run. She isn’t just any runaway, though. She’s the next in line to become the magic-hungry Nameless Witch and even being in her presence is dangerous for werewolves. They say the Nameless Witch can take anything she wants from you if she knows your name.
But this runaway doesn’t want to be Nameless, she wants to choose for herself. The Winter Pack understands better than other wolves what that feels like, and they pledge to help her. Too bad the terrible power of the Nameless Witch has already marked the runaway, and Riley and her pack have no time before their new friend will turn, steal their magic and bones, and possibly even destroy all of Clawroot…
And here’s the magical cover, illustrated by Tyler Champion and designed by Jessica Jenkins!
Alt text: Five 13-year-olds stand in the middle of a magical orb surrounded by an ominous green mist. Outside of the orb a hooded figure is just visible in the darkness, their hands hover to either side of the orb as though they are spying on the children. A candle burns on one side and a mortar and pestle sit on the other. The title at the top of the page reads The Nameless Witch.
Natalie C. Parker is an author, editor, and community organizer. She has written several award winning books for teens and young readers and has edited multiple anthologies including the Indie Bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old. Her work has been included on the NPR Best Books list, the Indie Next List, and the TAYSHAS Reading List, and in Junior Library Guild selections. In addition to writing, Natalie also runs Madcap Retreats, which has partnered with We Need Diverse Books and Reese’s Book Club to host the writers workshops for their new internship Lit Up. She grew up in a navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan and currently lives with her wife on the Kansas prairie.
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
You know when two humans you really like also happen to be married and also happen to have written a book you know is absolutely fantastic before you’ve even read a word? And then you get to reveal its cover?? Such is the case for me, and I am thrilled to be revealing the cover of Venom & Vow by Anna-Marie McLemore and Elliott McLemore today, a trans YA fantasy releasing from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan on May 16, 2023! Here’s the story:
Two enemy kingdoms are forced to work together to break a curse in this lush YA fantasy, featuring a transgender prince and a bigender dama/assassin in the lead roles.
Keep your enemy closer.
Cade McKenna is a transgender prince who’s doubling for his brother.
Valencia Palafox is a young dama attending the future queen of Eliana.
Gael Palma is the infamous boy assassin Cade has vowed to protect.
Patrick McKenna is the reluctant heir to a kingdom, and the prince Gael has vowed to destroy.
Cade doesn’t know that Gael and Valencia are the same person.
Valencia doesn’t know that every time she thinks she’s fighting Patrick, she’s fighting Cade.
And when Cade and Valencia blame each other for a devastating enchantment that takes both their families, neither of them realizes that they have far more dangerous enemies.
Cowritten by married writing team Anna-Marie and Elliott McLemore, Venom & Vow is a lush and powerful YA novel about owning your power and becoming who you really are.
And here’s the epic cover, designed by Lindsey Whitt and illustrated by Mx. Morgan!
Anna-Marie McLemore grew up hearing la llorona in the Santa Ana winds and now writes books as queer, Latine, and trans as they are. They are the author of The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature; Wild Beauty, a Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; Blanca & Roja, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; Dark and Deepest Red, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List title; The Mirror Season, which was also longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, and the forthcoming Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (September 6, 2022).
Elliott McLemore is a nonbinary trans guy who comes from mountains and loves trees. As a child, he romped in dresses, fought with plastic swords, and dreamed up his first stories. Between then and now, he has focused on academic and professional writing, research, and advocacy, including work toward adding nonbinary gender markers to California identity documents. Venom & Vow is his debut novel.
Look, I know queer readers are mythology nerds, and I’ve seen what readers of all genders and orientations have done for Song of Achilles. So what I’m saying is, this Pride month, treat yourself to a fantastic fantastic featuring a badass trans woman Achilles. You can thank me in July when we get to Wrath month. (It’s a perfect read for that one too.) Wrath Goddess Sing releases from William Morrow on June 7th, and is available for preorder now. (See handy links below!)
Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy.
The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.
Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.
An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.
Did you love the demisexual YA fantasy Little Thieves by Margaret Owen? Of freaking course you did. Which means this post is for you, since we’re revealing the cover of the sequel, Painted Devils, which releases from Henry Holt and Co. on May 16, 2023! I know, I know, it’s a long wait, but on the bright side, you don’t have to wait one minute more for the cover! First, the story:
Let’s get one thing straight—Vanja Schmidt wasn’t trying to start a cult.
After taking down a corrupt margrave, breaking a deadly curse, and finding romance with the vexingly scrupulous Junior Prefect Emeric Conrad, Vanja had one great mystery left: her long-lost birth family… and if they would welcome a thief. But in her search for an honest trade, she hit trouble and invented a god, the Scarlet Maiden, to scam her way out. Now, that lie is growing out of control—especially when Emeric arrives to investigate, and the Scarlet Maiden manifests to claim him as a virgin sacrifice.
For his final test to become a prefect, Emeric must determine if Vanja is guilty of serious fraud, or if the Scarlet Maiden—and her claim to him—are genuine. Meanwhile, Vanja is chasing an alternative sacrifice that may be their way out. The hunt leads her not only into the lairs of monsters and the paths of gods, but the ties of her past. And with what should be the simplest way to save Emeric hanging over their heads, he and Vanja must face a more dangerous question: Is there a future for a thief and a prefect, and at what price?
And now, the beautiful cover, designed and illustrated by M.S. Corley!
Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and has worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned. She now spends her days in Seattle, Washington, writing and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @what_eats_owls (truly, a question for our time.)
Super queer found family. Witches and fairies. Trans main character. Badass fantasy. Swoony romance between two guys doing the best friends-to-betrothed-to-enemies dance. Awesome duology opener with a sequel coming on May 31st. Just stop me when you’ve read enough to get the grabbiest of hands for The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon, a rare YA fantasy I absolutely loved that you should check out ASAP so you can jump right into The Fae Keeper!
Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.
In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.
Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.