Tag Archives: Going Bicoastal

Happy Jewish American Heritage Month 2022!

Happy Jewish American Heritage Month, and make sure to check out last year’s post for even more titles!

Books to Buy Now

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass

55624941. sx318 Thirteen-year-old Ellen Katz feels most comfortable when her life is well planned out and people fit neatly into her predefined categories. She attends temple with Abba and Mom every Friday and Saturday. Ellen only gets crushes on girls, never boys, and she knows she can always rely on her best-and-only friend, Laurel, to help navigate social situations at their private Georgia middle school. Laurel has always made Ellen feel like being autistic is no big deal. But lately, Laurel has started making more friends, and cancelling more weekend plans with Ellen than she keeps. A school trip to Barcelona seems like the perfect place for Ellen to get their friendship back on track.

Except it doesn’t. Toss in a new nonbinary classmate whose identity has Ellen questioning her very binary way of seeing the world, homesickness, a scavenger hunt-style team project that takes the students through Barcelona to learn about Spanish culture and this trip is anything but what Ellen planned.

Making new friends and letting go of old ones is never easy, but Ellen might just find a comfortable new place for herself if she can learn to embrace the fact that life doesn’t always stick to a planned itinerary.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos

Hannah’s whole life has been spent in motion. Her mother has kept her and her brother, Gabe, on the road for as long as she can remember, leaving a trail of rental homes and faded relationships behind them. No roots, no family but one another, and no explanations.

All of that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror—the first of many such impossible mutations. Promising that she knows someone who can help, her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe behind to find a cure. But as the days turn to weeks and their mother doesn’t return, they realize it’s up to them to find the truth.

What they discover is a family they never knew, and a history more tragic and fantastical than Hannah could have dreamed—one that stretches back to her grandmother’s childhood in Prague under the Nazi occupation, and beyond, into the realm of Jewish mysticism and legend.  As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah must hurry to unearth their family’s secrets—and confront her own hidden legacy in order to break the curse and save the people she loves most, as well as herself.

Rebecca Podos, award-winning author of Like Water, returns with a contemporary fantasy of enduring love, unfathomable loss, and the power of stories to hold us together when it seems that nothing else can.

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

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

The Fountains of Silence meets Spinning Silver in this rollicking tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest from Sydney Taylor Honor winner Katherine Locke.

In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most–safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father’s legacy that she wishes she could forget.

Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Matzo Match by Roz Alexander

56711248. sy475 Can a meddling matchmaker help two broken hearts to love again?

After a brutal break-up, Sam is ready for a lot of things: spring, hosting on her own again, a casual fling or two. Sam is definitely not ready for anything real, but her best friend Virginia has decided she’s taken long enough. When loving encouragements aren’t enough, Virginia takes fate into her own hands.

With Passover just around the corner, will a surprise blind date, three celebrations in eight days, and approximately 100 glasses of wine be enough to finally move on?

After one taste of the hard-bodied, immaculately dressed butch Jordan, it just might be time. Too bad Jordan has her own baggage to work through.

Matzo Match is a steamy lesbian age gap love story and the first entry in the “Hot for the Holidays” series.

Buy it: Amazon

Books to Preorder

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb (October 18, 2022)

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it doesn’t have a name other than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.

Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, including Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has abandoned her to marry a man, and Malke Shulman, whose father died mysteriously on his way to America.

But there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, poverty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Season of Love by Helena Greer (October 11, 2022)

A witty, glittering rom-com about finding the courage to face your past and learning what it truly means to return home, perfect for fans of the Hallmark channel (but queer and Jewish!), Jenny Bayliss, and Alexandra Bellefleur.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (November 1, 2022)

55348105. sy475 It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally. With her mom’s Subaru.

Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani’s plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break.

It could be going better.

But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils she’s meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side—along with the breakup.

Then they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani’s hurt over her ex-girlfriend’s rejection comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Shot in the Dark by Victoria Lee (January 3, 2023)

Elisheva Cohen has just returned to Brooklyn after almost a decade. The wounds of abandoning the Orthodox community that raised her, then shunned her because of her substance abuse, are still painful. But when she gets an amazing opportunity to study photography with art legend Wyatt Cole, Ely is willing to take the leap.

On her first night back in town, Ely goes out to the infamous queer club Revel for a celebratory night of dancing. Ely is swept off her feet and into bed by a gorgeous man who looks like James Dean, but with a thick Carolina accent. The next morning, Ely wakes up alone and rushes off to attend her first photography class, reminiscing on the best one-night stand of her life. She doesn’t even know his name. That is, until Wyatt Cole shows up for class—and Ely realizes that the man she just spent an intimate and steamy night with is her teacher.

Everyone in the art world is obsessed with Wyatt Cole. He’s immensely talented and his notoriously reclusive personal life makes him all the more compelling. But there’s a reason why his past is hard for him to publicize. After coming out as transgender, Wyatt was dishonorably discharged from the military and disowned by his family. From then on he committed to sobriety and channeled his pain into his flourishing art career. While Ely and Wyatt’s relationship started out on a physical level, their similar struggles spark a much deeper connection. The chemistry is undeniable, but their new relationship as teacher and student means desperately wanting what they can’t have.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

Ring of Solomon by Aden Polydoros (February 21, 2023)

This exciting and adventurous start to a middle-grade trilogy follows a queer boy and his family as they try to halt the chaotic effects of a mysterious ring, drawing upon Jewish mythology to navigate magic, mayhem and the search for pride in one’s identity.

The little beachside town of San Pancras is not known for anything exciting, but when Zach Darlington buys a mysterious ring at the local flea market, his quiet little hometown is turned topsy-turvy by monsters straight from Jewish folklore and a nefarious secret society focused on upholding an apocalyptic prophecy.

Zach discovers that the ring grants him strange powers, and he’s intrigued; maybe he can use the ring’s strengths to halt the slew of anti-Semitic and homophobic bullying he’s experiencing at school. But soon the ring brings unexpected visitors—Ashmedai, King of Demons, in the guise of a preteen boy named Ash, and the local chapter of the Knights of the Apocalypse, a secret society intent on completing a creepy prophecy that will bring three monsters to Earth to start the events of the end of times.

Now responsible for the ring and its consequences, will Zach and his friends, with the help of Ash, be able to stop the Apocalypse and save the world?

Buy it: Amazon | B&N

Books to Add to Your TBR

 

April 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Author of THE UNBROKEN C.L. Clark’s WARMONGERS, in an epic fantasy set in a kingdom in a cycle of eternal war, two women—once lovers and warriors at arms—are set on a collision course when years after their separation, one is crowned king and the other vows to kill her, to Brit Hvide at Orbit, by Mary C. Moore at Kimberley Cameron & Associates (world).

Author of UNEXPECTED GOALS Kelly Farmer’s IT’S A FABULOUS LIFE, pitched as a sapphic retelling of the classic holiday movie as a second chance romance, in which a realtor puts her plans on hold again to help with her small town’s winter festival and, with the aid of angelic drag queens, reconnects with her high school crush, to Stacey Donovan at Hallmark, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2023 (world English).

Arden Joy’s KEEP THIS OFF THE RECORD, pitched as a romantic comedy remix of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing that transforms ye olde damsels in distress into queer women, women of color, and women overcoming trauma, to Alexandria Brown at Rising Action, in an exclusive submission, for publication in January 2024 (world English).

Andie Burke’s COME FLY WITH ME, an opposites-attract romantic comedy about a female pilot and a woman who’s afraid of flying, who start fake dating after the woman saves a passenger’s life mid-flight and then goes viral, to Lisa Bonvissuto at St. Martin’s, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Mariah Nichols at D4EO Literary Agency (world).

Nicola Dinan‘s BELLIES, a queer coming-of-age story about two students who fall in love during their final year at university, only to find their relationship dramatically upended when one of them decides to transition, spanning London, Malaysia, and New York in the years after they graduate, pitched as Torrey Peters meets NORMAL PEOPLE, to Grace Towery at Hanover Square Press, in a pre-empt, by Monica MacSwan at Aitken Alexander (NA).

Author of A STAR IS BORED Byron Lane‘s BIG GAY WEDDING, a comedy of (mis)manners in which a young man returns home from Los Angeles to to his widowed mother’s farm in Louisiana with news of his upcoming nuptials—to a man—and the bigger surprise that the wedding will take place on the farm, pitched as The Birdcage meets Father of the Bride, to James Melia at Holt, for publication in summer 2023, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider/ICM (NA).

Author, folklorist, and photographer Piper CJ’s THE NIGHT AND ITS MOON, originally self-published, about orphans who are sold to the highest bidder—in this case, the madame of a notorious brothel; along with THE SUN AND ITS SHADE, THE GLOOM BETWEEN STARS and THE DAWN AND ITS LIGHT, in a sapphic/bi romantic epic fantasy series, to Christa Desir at Bloom Books, in a very nice deal, in a four-book deal, for publication starting in September 2022 (world English).

Alexandrine Ogundimu’s THE LONGEST SUMMER, in which a half-Nigerian party boy navigates a bisexual love triangle and is the primary suspect of a $10,000 cash theft in a decaying Indiana city, to Christoph Paul at Clash, in a nice deal, for publication in June 2023 (world English).

BURN IT ALL DOWN author Nicolas DiDomizio’s THE GAY BEST FRIEND, a summer comedy set on a beach following a gay millennial as he code-switches between the hyper-masculine and ultra-feminine worlds of his two soon-to-be-wed best friends, to Mary Altman at Sourcebooks, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2023 (world).

Audiobook narrator and self-published author Travis Baldree’s LEGENDS & LATTES, in which an orc barbarian decides to hang up her sword and open a fantasy coffee shop, to Georgia Summers at Tor, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Stevie Finegan at Zeno Agency (world).

Deputy director of the gender equality division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Iris Mwanza’s THE GOOD BOY, about the disappearance of a queer boy in Lusaka, Zambia, possibly at the hands of the police, and the young, inexperienced lawyer who fights a corrupt system to get justice for him, set against the backdrop of the Zambia’s political upheaval in the 1990s, to Graydon House, at auction.

Isa Arsen‘s SHOOT THE MOON, pitched as THE ATOMIC CITY GIRLS meets THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, about a queer female engineer at NASA working on the 1969 space race and her unusual discovery linked to her childhood in the 1940s, which explores the high human cost of scientific progress and the driving need for both intellectual fullfilment and romantic love, no matter the time and place, to Kate Dresser at Putnam, for publication in fall 2023, by Chris Bucci at Aevitas Creative Management (world).

Children’s Fiction

Author of the Norman the Goldfish series and the upcoming THE HOUSE THAT BABE RUTH BUILT Kelly Bennett’s RAINBOW KITE, stories of love, community, and family, about a nonbinary child following a kite on adventures to find community and acceptance; MONSTROUS MOE, in which a grumpy monster decides if a hug can help him be less grumpy; and MIA TAKES MANHATTAN, in which a cobra escapes the Bronx Zoo and travels the city before realizing she misses home, to Chrissy Willis at Young Dragons Press, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Amy Brewer at Metamorphosis Literary Agency (US).

Michelle Mohrweis‘s YOUNG ENGINEERS, in which an autistic seventh grader, with a love of all things space, finds herself paired on an engineering project with her biggest crush, and both girls confront their messy family dynamics, feelings for one another, and high expectations, to Jonah Heller at Peachtree, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2024, by Emily Forney at BookEnds (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Author of COOL FOR THE SUMMER and the forthcoming HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE Dahlia Adler‘s GOING BICOASTAL, pitched as a bi Sliding Doors, following a Jewish teen through two versions of the summer before senior year, one in NYC (with a cute girl) and one in L.A. (with a cute boy); and MY NAME IS EVERETT, a sunshine-meets-grump boarding school romance pitched as BEACH READ meets FOOLISH HEARTS, to Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books, in a very nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023 and summer 2024, by Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (NA).

Benjamin Dean’s THE KING IS DEAD, a gay romantic thriller set against the backdrop of a reimagined royal family, about a newly crowned young Black king facing media scrutiny and blackmail, pitched as ACE OF SPADES meets RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, to Erika Turner at Little, Brown Children’s, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023, by Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (NA).

Author of the forthcoming YOU, ME, AND OUR HEARTSTRINGS Melissa See’s LOVE LETTERS TO JOY CORVI, pitched as a contemporary retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, in which a panromantic asexual girl with cerebral palsy who is determined to be valedictorian seeks love advice from an anonymous student at her academy; but she’s unknowingly writing to—and falling for—the last person she ever expected, to Tiffany Colon at Scholastic, for publication in summer 2023, by Emily Forney at BookEnds (world English).

Keezy Young’s graphic novel HELLO SUNSHINE, in which a boy returns from church camp to discover that his (secret) boyfriend has gone missing and now he must enlist an unlikely team of worried friends and family to find him; a teen drama that uses the atmosphere of a demon haunting to tell a story of mental health, healing, and romance, to Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in 2025, by Kurestin Armada at Root Literary (world).

Rex Ogle writing as Rey Terciero’s DAN OF GREEN GABLES, pitched as a twist on ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, the story of a queer, half-Mexican teenager who is forced to live with his grandparents in rural Tennessee when his mother abandons him; with the help of his mawmaw and his new friends, he makes an unlikely home for himself at 1600 Green Gables, illustrated by Claudia Aguirre, to Elizabeth Lee at Penguin Workshop, for publication in summer 2025, by Brent Taylor at TriadaUS Literary Agency for the author, and by Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency for the illustrator (world).

Eugene Lee Yang‘s THE UNDERS, a queer epic fantasy in which a group of teens band together to stop a war between the human and the magical world, to Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends, in a major deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Jessica Felleman at Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency (NA).

Author of the forthcoming THE MANY HALF-LIVED LIVES OF SAM SYLVESTER Maya MacGregor’s THE EVOLVING TRUTH OF EVER-STRONGER WILL, about a nonbinary teen who, after watching their abusive mother die in front of them, seeks out a former foster mother who once was ready to adopt them, in a mystery about family, grief, and surviving an abusive parent even as their mother’s ghost seems to dog their every step, to Suzy Krogulski at Astra House, for publication in 2024, by Sara Megibow at kt literary (world English).

Edgar Award winner and Stonewall Honor author James Klise’s I’LL TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE, a noir set in Chicago in the summer of 1934, in which a queer teen’s naive get-rich-quick scheme leads to deadly criminal consequences, to Elise Howard at Algonquin Young Readers, for publication in 2023, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

Victoria Wlosok’s debut HOW TO FIND A MISSING GIRL, about a 17-year-old amateur sleuth and her sapphic detective agency that investigates when her ex-girlfriend—notorious for creating a polarizing true-crime podcast about the sleuth’s missing sister—disappears too, to Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in fall 2023, by Jessica Errera at Jane Rotrosen Agency (world). Film: Becca Rodriguez at Gotham.

Non-Fiction

Inclusion advocate, educator, and the first openly transgender D1 men’s athlete Schuyler Bailar‘s HE/SHE/THEY: HOW WE TALK ABOUT GENDER AND WHY IT MATTERS, an inquiry into today’s gender landscape, laying the groundwork for productive conversations about gender on an individual and national level, pitched as in the vein of SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE, to Renee Sedliar at Hachette Go, at auction, by Susan Canavan at Waxman Literary Agency (NA).

Founder of the Ali Forney Center Carl Siciliano’s STRONG AS DEATH, SWEET AS LOVE, about the author’s work with homeless LGBTQ+ youths in New York City and his friendship with Ali Forney, a nonbinary youth whose compassionate life and tragic death on New York City’s streets inspired him to establish the Center and live a life of service and resistance, to Derek Reed at Convergent, at auction, for publication in summer 2023, by Jesseca Salky at Salky Literary Management, in association with Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency (NA).

Shilletha Curtis’s MOUNTAIN OF THE MOON, pitched as a Black lesbian WILD crossed with GIRL INTERRUPTED, tracing the author’s 2,193-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and intersectional quest to change the narrative of “hiking while Black” while confronting the roots of her lifelong depression, anxiety, PTSD and ADHD, to Jennifer Levesque at Andscape, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, by Lynn Johnston at Lynn Johnston Literary (world English).