Tag Archives: Kamilah Cole

June 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Talia Samuels‘s THE CHRISTMAS SWAP, a queer Christmas romcom featuring a woman who fake dates her friend in order for him to bring someone home for the holidays, only to fall for his sister, to Melissa Rechter at Alcove Press, in a nice deal, for publication in October 2023, by Sarah Scarlett at Penguin Random House UK (NA).

Lyla Lee‘s LOVE IN FOCUS, an adult debut, featuring a sapphic second chance rom com pitched for fans of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, in which a relationship advice columnist in her late 20s finds herself re-evaluating her own past after an unexpected breakup, when she’s forced to work with an ex-girlfriend who inexplicably abandoned her during college, the two must pair up to work on a career defining piece about modern love that could not only potentially save the protagonist’s job, but also maybe her heart, to Junessa Viloria at Forever, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2025, by Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management (NA).

Kelli Storm‘s CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, in which a small town business owner challenges her teenage boyband crush–and local hero–to save the town Main Street from a big business takeover and figures out her own happily ever after while navigating her mother’s dementia, asexuality, and sudden viral fame, to Megan Broderick at Harlequin Special Edition, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marsal at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (world).

Author of FOR HER CONSIDERATION Amy Spalding’s next two novels in the Out in Hollywood series, to Norma Perez-Hernandez at Kensington, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2025 and 2026, by Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary (world).

Jem Zero‘s A SPARK IN HIS HAND, in which a vulnerable man stripped of his memories yearns for independence when forced to perform unpaid labor to earn his keep, and runs away to begin an affair with a shy, handsome politician who holds information about his true identity, to Lisa Green at City Owl Press, in a nice deal, for publication in June 2024 (US).

NYU graduate and ex-movie marketer Phil Melanson’s THE FIGUREHEAD, a queer historical novel set in Renaissance Florence, pitched as WOLF HALL meets THE SONG OF ACHILLES, in which the bloody feud between the ruling Medici family and the pope’s court in Rome forever alters the career of a young, gay painter, known today as Leonardo da Vinci, to Gina Iaquinta at Liveright, at auction, by Chad Luibl at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).

Laura Piper Lee’s ZOE BRENNAN, FIRST CRUSH, a sapphic rom-com about a Georgia vineyard owner who’s forced to team up with her childhood crush turned Napa vintner snob to win a prestigious wine festival’s local showcase and save her family’s vineyard, again to Laura Schreiber at Union Square & Co, by Carrie Pestritto at Laura Dail Literary Agency (world).

D.L. Sims’s EVERYTHING IS JUST FINE, a contemporary LGBTQIA+ love story following a college freshman who develops feelings for not one, but two of his classmates, to Anna Todd at Frayed Pages, for publication in fall 2024 (world).

Author of THE SHADOW CABINET Juno Dawson’s QUEEN B, a prequel to HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL COVEN, sweeping us to the reign of Henry VIII and the origins of the coven under the beautiful and bewitching Anne Boleyn, to Nidhi Pugalia at Penguin, by Katelyn Dougherty at Paradigm (NA).

Kamilah Cole’s THE SINISTER ELITE, a speculative dark academia thriller about a college freshman haunted by a sense of deja vu that turns deadly when she finds a message scrawled on her skin written in her own hand that simply says REMEMBER, to Mary Altman at Poisoned Pen Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2025, by Emily Forney at BookEnds (world).

Nebula, Lambda, and Hugo Award finalist Lee Mandelo, ed.’s AMPLITUDES: STORIES OF QUEER AND TRANS FUTURITY, a short fiction anthology about how we can imagine better worlds as an act of literary resistance during a time of rising threats against queer and trans people, to Diana Pho at Erewhon, in a nice deal, for publication in summer 2025, by Tara Gilbert at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency (world).

2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize winner Laura Chow Reeve’s A SMALL APOCALYPSE, a debut collection of stories in which human bodies shape shift, queer ghosts haunt their friends, a young woman pickles memories with her Chinese grandmother, and a movie theater floods during an apocalyptic movie marathon, pitched for fans Carmen Maria Machado and Karen Russell, to Marisa Siegel at Northwestern University Press, for publication in spring 2024, by Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts at HG Literary (NA).

Briony Cameron’s THE BALLAD OF JACQUOTTE DELAHAYE, an epic tale pitched as based on the legend of a woman of color from colonial Haiti as she becomes one of the few infamous female pirate captains to sail the Caribbean in the 17th century, with a queer love story at its heart, in an exploration of human connection, friendship, and the search for freedom and home, to Natalie Hallak at Atria, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, by Rebecca Wearmouth at PFD, on behalf of Laurie Robertson (NA).

Rhodes Scholar and filmmaker Eli Zuzovsky’s MAZELTOV, an offbeat coming-of-age debut centered on a closeted gay boy in Israel, who on the day of his bar mitzvah must wrestle with lust and longing as he confronts the forces of family neurosis and national dysfunction, pitched as Philip Roth for millennials, to Riva Hocherman at Holt, in a nice deal, by Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs at Deborah Harris Agency (NA).

Children’s and Middle Grade Fiction Ben Kahn and Jeremy Whitley’s graphic novel THE DASHING SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD PRINCES, the story of a supposed prince who knows that, deep down, she’s really a princess; despite the school’s rigid and outdated gender norms, the princess and her newfound misfit friends find the courage to embrace themselves and stand up to anyone who says otherwise, illustrated by Melissa Capriglione, to Julia McCarthy at Atheneum, for publication in summer 2025, by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds for the authors, and by Laurel Symonds at kt literary for the illustrator (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Pushcart and Discovery/The Nation prize-winning poet, critic, and editor Rebecca Stafford’s RABBIT AND JULIET, a starstruck queer story about a grieving girl in a small Georgia town who meets the enigmatic daughter of a world-famous actor and embarks on a revenge plot to hold local boys accountable for a series of assaults, to Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management (NA).

Debut author-illustrator Mars Lauderbaugh’s HOLLOW MAGIC, in which a 17-year-old witch, searching for ways to understand her magic, meets an intriguing knight full of secrets, and, with their help, must find a way to lift the curse from an ancient castle or lose the chance to learn the truth about her lineage forever, to Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends, for publication in fall 2026, by Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

Cass Biehn’s debut VESUVIUS, a queer YA historical fantasy pitched as THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by way of THE SONG OF ACHILLES, set in Pompeii days before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in which two boys must grapple with their closely guarded secrets and untangle their fates to make it out of the burning city alive, to Zoie Konneker at Peachtree Teen, in a nice deal, for publication in summer 2025, by Annalise Errico at Ladderbird Literary Agency (world).

Author of QUEER AS A FIVE-DOLLAR BILL Lee Wind’s A DIFFERENT KIND OF BRAVE, an adventure romance in which two gay teens—one who has escaped from a gay reprogramming institute in California, and the other, a privileged New Yorker who idolizes James Bond—come together to save each other and free the other teens trapped in the institute, to Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press, for publication in March 2024, by Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (world).

Author of THE BEST LIARS IN RIVERVIEW and THE HOUSE THAT WHISPERS Lin Thompson’s THE REAPER’S GLASS, pitched as Our Flag Means Death meets THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, a queer/trans historical duology about three teens who set sail to face down a secret magical society in 1840s New England, to Camille Kellogg at Bloomsbury Children’s, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Beth Phelan at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (world).

Author of KINGS, QUEENS AND IN-BETWEENS Tanya Boteju’s MESSY PERFECT, exploring questions of faith, sexuality, and responsibility in the story of an overachieving teen’s efforts to run an underground gender and sexuality alliance and the complications that arise—because not only does she attend a Catholic high school, she also happens to be closeted, to Jennifer Ung at Quill Tree, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2025, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world).

Brazilian author Clara Alves’s LONDON ON MY MIND, originally published in Brazil as ROMANCE REAL, translated into English by Nina Perrotta, in which a girl moves from Rio de Janeiro to London to live with her estranged father and his new family, and strikes up an unexpected romance with a beautiful and mysterious girl who is clearly hiding something about her connection to the royal family, to Orlando Dos Reis at Scholastic, for publication in summer 2024, by Danielle Burby and Alba Milena at Mad Woman Literary Agency, on behalf of Seguinte (world English).

Non-Fiction and Poetry

Illustrator, cartoonist, and author Lonnie Mann’s GAYTHEIST: COMING OUT OF MY ORTHODOX CHILDHOOD, a coming-of-age graphic memoir about growing up gay in an Orthodox Jewish community, to Liz Frances at Street Noise, with Matt Madden editing, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in February of 2024 (world).

Grammy Award-nominated, Mercury Prize-winning singer, songwriter, and poet Arlo Parks’s THE MAGIC BORDER, a collection of poetry exploring the queer experience, blackness, grief, trauma, and love, featuring photographs by Daniyel Lowden and the complete lyrics to her sophomore album My Soft Machine, to Stuart Roberts at Dey Street Books, at auction, for publication in September 2023, by Meredith Miller at UTA (NA).

Author of RAINBOW: A FIRST BOOK OF PRIDE Michael Genhart’s picture book biography EDIE FOR EQUALITY: EDIE WINDSOR STANDS UP FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY, about the LGBTQ icon whose landmark case before the Supreme Court paved the way for marriage equality, illustrated by Cheryl Thuesday, to Jessica Echeverria at Lee and Low, for publication in spring 2025, by Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary (world).

Author of QUEERING THE TAROT, QUEERING YOUR CRAFT, and LESSONS FROM THE EMPRESS Cassandra Snow’s TAROT: IN OTHER WORDS, an anthology of essential writing by leading queer tarot writers and community leaders about their tarot practice and its relevance to LGBTQ+ issues, with contributions from Charlie Claire Burgess, Meg Jones Wall, Siri Vincent Plouff, Asalie Earthwork, Rebecca Scolnick, Maria Minnis, Nick Kepley, and others, to Peter Turner at Weiser Books, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2025, by Kelly Van Sant at kt literary (world English).

Poet charles theonia’s GAY HEAVEN IS A DANCE FLOOR BUT I CAN’T RELAX, a poetry collection where poetic citation assumes the form of cross-generational conversation between queer and trans artists and writers, with methodologies and forms promiscuous (not limited to pop songs, paintings, a sexological study, and AIDS activist agitprop), variable in their structure, and invested in intergenerational queer connectivity, to Nicodemus Nicoludis at Archway Editions, for publication in spring 2024 (world English).

Happy Black History Month 2023!

Happy Black History Month! Like the other eleven months, it’s an excellent time to buy queer books by Black authors! (Want even more recs? Check out previous posts!)

Please note that 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.

Books to Buy Now

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

61356545Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Cameron Battle and the Escape Trials by Jamar J. Perry

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?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Eternally Yours by Patrice Caldwell

Give in to this irresistible paranormal romance anthology filled with tales of the mortal and the monstrous. In Eternally Yours, fifteen of today’s bestselling writers explore love in its many forms . . .

Contributors include Kalynn Bayron, Kendare Blake, Kat Cho, Melissa de la Cruz, Hafsah Faizal, Sarah Gailey, Chloe Gong, Alexis Henderson, Adib Khorram, Anna-Marie McLemore, Casey McQuiston, Sandhya Menon, Akshaya Raman, Marie Rutkoski, and Julian Winters.

Vampires and merpeople, angels and demons—the stories in this anthology imagine worlds where the only thing more powerful than the supernatural, is love.

A girl in a graveyard goes on an unexpected date, a shipwrecked sailor makes a connection on a forbidden island, a piano melody summons a soul mate. Creatures of folktales and legend, of land and sea, of centuries past and life after life, all wrapped into one spellbinding compendium. Once you sink into its pages, it’ll never let you go.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett

Mahalia Harris wants.

She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying—about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.

Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.

The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?

A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Death by Society by Sierra Elmore

Seventeen-year-old Carter Harper may have created an award-winning iPhone app and have a 3.93 GPA, but her successes are overshadowed by brutal bullying, debilitating depression, and biting loneliness. Tired of being treated as the popular girls’ plaything, Carter hatches a plan to gain their respect, and maybe even gain a bit of popularity of her own. When that doesn’t work, she thinks her only choice is to die by suicide.

Abby Wallace is a member of “the POPS” (the Petty, Oppressive, and Popular Shitbags, according to Carter)—subordinate only to Kelsey, her best friend with benefits. The ambitious poet destroys reputations without care—especially Carter’s—to prove how cool, cruel, and strong she is, all while pushing down her past trauma and secret guilt. But she faces an unexpected adversary when Kelsey tries to make Carter her new pet project. Angry and betrayed, Abby pushes Carter to the edge—facing consequences she never could have imagined.

Carter and Abby’s tumultuous relationship comes to a boiling point when Abby stops Carter from attempting suicide. But what happens when their shared enemy tries to come for them both again, and they end up in the unfortunate position of trying to protect one another? If Carter and Abby can stand each other for more than three minutes, they can stop Kelsey’s court of misrule from harming more girls.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Cool. Awkward. Black. ed. by Karen Strong

Real or imaginary, geekdom is where it’s at in this multi-genre YA anthology that celebrates “the geek,” with stories by some of today’s top bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors.

Contributors include Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, Shari B. Pennant, K. Arsenault Rivera, Julian Winters, and Ibi Zoboi.

A girl who believes in UFOs; a boy who might have finally found his Prince Charming; a hopeful performer who dreams of being cast in her school’s production of The Sound of Music; a misunderstood magician of sorts with a power she doesn’t quite understand.

These plotlines and many more compose the eclectic stories found within the pages of this dynamic, exciting, and expansive collection featuring exclusively Black characters. From contemporary to historical, fantasy to sci-fi, magical to realistic, and with contributions from a powerhouse list of self-proclaimed geeks and bestselling, award-winning authors, this life-affirming anthology celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness—both in the real world and those imagined.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

As You Walk on By by Julian Winters

Seventeen-year-old Theo Wright has it all figured out. His plan (well, more like his dad’s plan) is a foolproof strategy that involves exceling at his magnet school, getting scouted by college recruiters, and going to Duke on athletic scholarship. But for now, all Theo wants is a perfect prom night. After his best friend Jay dares Theo to prompose to his crush at Chloe Campbell’s party, Theo’s ready to throw caution to the wind and take his chances.

But when the promposal goes epically wrong, Theo seeks refuge in an empty bedroom while the party rages on downstairs. Having an existential crisis about who he really is with and without his so-called best friend wasn’t on tonight’s agenda. Though, as the night goes on, Theo finds he’s not as alone as he thinks when, one by one, new classmates join him to avoid who they’re supposed be outside the bedroom door. Among them, a familiar acquaintance, a quiet outsider, an old friend, and a new flame . . .

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon

60316977Fifteen-year-old Kermit Sanders knows grief and its all-encompassing shadows. After losing his beloved older sister in a tragic car accident, nothing quite punctures through the feelings of loss. Everywhere Kermit goes, he is reminded of her.

But then Kermit finds a mysterious invitation in his locker, signed anonymously with “-1.” He has no idea what he’s in for, but he shows up to find out. Dubbed the “Minus-One Club,” a group of his schoolmates has banded together as a form of moral support. The members have just one thing in common—they have all suffered the tragic loss of someone they loved.

The usual dividing lines between high school classes and cliques don’t apply inside the Minus-One Club, and Kermit’s secret crush, the handsome and happy-go-lucky Matt (and only out gay student at school), is also a part of the group. Slowly, Matt’s positive headstrong approach to life helps relieve Kermit of his constant despair.

But as Kermit grows closer to Matt, the light of his new life begins to show the cracks beneath the surface. When Matt puts himself in danger by avoiding his feelings, Kermit must find the strength to not only lift himself back up but to help the rest of the group from falling apart.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Black Queen by Jumata Emill

The Black QueenNova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.

No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.

Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.

But Tinsley has an agenda, too.

Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner

60405251For most of her life, Aaliyah’s home situation hasn’t been great, but she’s at least had her childhood best friend and role as a cross-country star to balance it out. But once she got outed by a church elder last spring, everything came undone — including Aaliyah.

Now, senior year is about to start and she is determined to come back faster and wiser. No more letting other people define her. No more losing herself to their expectations.

Except… well, with new friends, old flames, nosy school counselors, and teammates who don’t trust her yet, the route already feels rough. And what’s with the new girl, Tessa, who gives Aaliyah butterflies every time she looks at her? Regardless, she’ll be fine. Because this is the year to prove to everyone―and most of all, herself―that she’s more than her mistakes. After all, even Aaliyah can’t outrun everything.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson

Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he’s right back home in Harper’s Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can’t delegate to save his life.

Logan O’Hare doesn’t understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him—he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn’t have many options besides Xavier.

Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they’ll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Feels Right: Black Queer Women and the Politics of Partying in Chicago by Kemi Adeyemi

In Feels Right, Kemi Adeyemi presents an ethnography of how black queer women in Chicago use dance to assert their physical and affective rights to the city. Adeyemi stages the book in queer dance parties in gentrifying neighborhoods, where good feelings are good business. But feeling good is elusive for black queer women whose nightlives are undercut by white people, heterosexuality, neoliberal capitalism, burnout, and other buzzkills. Adeyemi documents how black queer women respond to these conditions: how they destroy DJ booths, argue with one another, dance slowly, and stop partying altogether. Their practices complicate our expectations that life at night, on the queer dance floor, or among black queer community simply feels good. Adeyemi’s framework of “feeling right” instead offers a closer, kinesthetic look at how black queer women adroitly manage feeling itself as a complex right they should be afforded in cities that violently structure their movements and energies. What emerges in Feels Right is a sensorial portrait of the critical, black queer geographies and collectivities that emerge in social dance settings and in the broader neoliberal city.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Books to Preorder

My Dear Henry by Kalynn Bayron (March 7, 2023)

London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life― and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll―was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry’s expulsion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry’s relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.

But Gabriel doesn’t want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what’s become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.

In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can’t help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.

But the secret behind Henry’s apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog―and not all of them are out for blood…

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Starting from Scratch by Jazz Taylor (April 4, 2023)

Starting From Scratch Final Cover.jpgJanie believes there’s a best way to do everything. When she sticks to a schedule, she and her mom can tackle anything. But Janie’s perfect schedule—and her life—are getting shaken up this year. Her new stepmom, Keisha, is moving in, along with her daughter, Makayla.

Worst of all? Makayla brings a cat with her. And Janie hates cats.

Even though it’s hard, Janie tries to welcome Makayla to her new school. And honestly, she maybe does too good a job. Soon, Makayla is volunteering with Janie’s beloved Sunshine Club, and Janie’s friends all love her. The only one who pays any attention to her anymore is Makayla’s nosy cat. It feels like her new sister is taking over! What’s a gal to do with a copycat in her life?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker (April 4, 2023)

60784432Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.

On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau—the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family—are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick—she’s cursed. Cursed by someone on the very magic council their family used to rule. Someone who will come for them next.

Cristina, once a talented and dedicated practitioner of Generational magic, has given up magic for good. An ancient spell is what killed their father and she was the one who cast it. For Clement, magic is his lifeline. A distraction from his anger and pain. Even better than the random guys he hooks up with.

Cristina and Clement used to be each other’s most trusted confidant and friend, now they barely speak. But if they have any hope of discovering who is coming after their family, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other and their family’s magic, all while solving the decades-old murder that sparked the still-rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities. And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Pomegranate by Helen Elaine Lee (April 11, 2023)

61273768Ranita Atwater is “getting short.”

She is almost done with her four-year sentence for opiate possession at Oak Hills Correctional Center. With three years of sobriety, she is determined to stay clean and regain custody of her two children.

My name is Ranita, and I’m an addict, she has said again and again at recovery meetings. But who else is she? Who might she choose to become? As she claims the story housed within her pomegranate-like heart, she is determined to confront the weight of the past and discover what might lie beyond mere survival.

Ranita is regaining her freedom, but she’s leaving behind her lover Maxine, who has inspired her to imagine herself and the world differently. Now she must steer clear of the temptations that have pulled her down, while atoning for her missteps and facing old wounds. With a fierce, smart, and sometimes funny voice, Ranita reveals how rocky and winding the path to wellness is for a Black woman, even as she draws on family, memory, faith, and love in order to choose life.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

Could I one day inspire happiness in others, the same way he seemed to do in me?

It’s 2005 and Harley has dropped out of college to move home, back to rural England where he works a dead-end job at a movie theater. Estranged from his father and finding every attempt at happiness futile, he is on the verge of making a devastating final decision. Fortunately for him, things don’t go according to plan, and his attempt on his own life is interrupted by his new roommate, Muddy.

Muddy is everything Harley is not: white, ostensibly heterosexual, freewheeling, confident in his masculinity. Despite their differences, a deep friendship blossoms between them when Muddy takes Harley under his wing and shows him everything that, in his eyes, makes life worth living: birdwatching, karaoke, rugby, and the band Oasis.

But this newfound friendship is complicated. It has enormous repercussions for the pair’s romantically entangled friend group—with Chelsea, an overbearing striver whose generosity they begrudgingly rely on; with Finlay, her raffish and uncouth boyfriend; and with Noria, who despite her simmering confidence is smarting from a series of unreturned affections. And then there’s the violent affair with an older man that Harley finds himself slipping back into…

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Rosewater by Liv Little (April 25, 2023)

62596601Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in south London. But, at just 28, she is also tired. Though she spends her days writing tender poetry in her journal, her nights are spent working long hours for minimum wage at a neighborhood dive bar. Not even sleeping with her alluring coworker, Bea, can quell her existential dread. The difficulty of being estranged from her family, struggle of being continually rejected from jobs, and fear of never making money doing what she loves is too great. But Elsie is determined to keep the faith, for a little longer at least. Things will surely turn around. They have to.

But when Elsie is suddenly evicted from her social housing, her fragile foundations threaten to collapse entirely. With nowhere left to go, Elsie turns to her childhood friend, Juliet, for help.

Among Juliet’s mismatched cushions and shelves lined with trinkets, Elsie is able to breathe for the first time in years. But between their reruns of Drag Race and nights smoking on the balcony, something else soon begins to glimmer in Elsie’s heart . . . Sometimes what you’ve been searching for has been there all along. Can Elsie see it in time?

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Ellie Engle Saves Herself by Leah Johnson (May 2, 2023)

62134135Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she’s alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock . Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.” To someone else, a life in the shadows might seem boring, or lonely. But not to Ellie. As long as she has Abby by her side and a comic book in her hand, she’s quite content.

Too bad life didn’t bother checking in with Ellie. Because when a freak earthquake hits her small town, Ellie wakes up with the power to bring anything back to life with just her touch. And when a video of her using her powers suddenly goes viral, Ellie’s life goes somewhere she never imagined—or wanted: straight into the spotlight.

Surviving middle school is hard enough. Surviving middle school when paparazzi are camped out on your front lawn and an international pop singer wants you to use your powers on live tv and you might be in love with your best friend but she doesn’t know it? Absolutely impossible.

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Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst (May 2, 2023)

62558851Mickey Hayward dreams of writing stories that matter. She has a flashy media job that makes her feel successful and a devoted girlfriend who takes care of her when she comes home exhausted and demoralized. It’s not all A-list parties and steamy romance, but Mickey’s on her way, and it’s far from the messy life she left behind in Maryland. Despite being overlooked and mistreated at work, it seems like she might finally get the chance to prove herself–until she finds out she’s being replaced.

Distraught and enraged, Mickey fires back with a detailed letter outlining the racism and sexism she’s endured as a Black woman in media, certain it will change the world for the better. But when her letter is met with overwhelming silence, Mickey is sent into a tailspin of self-doubt. Forced to reckon with just how fragile her life is–including the uncertainty of her relationship–she flees to the last place she ever dreamed she would run to, her hometown, desperate for a break from her troubles.

Back home, Mickey is seduced by the simplicity of her old life–and the flirtation of a former flame–but her life in New York refuses to be forgotten. When a media scandal catapults Mickey’s forgotten letter into the public zeitgeist, suddenly everyone wants to hear what Mickey has to say. It’s what she’s always wanted–isn’t it?

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The Secret Summer Promise by Keah Brown (May 9, 2023)

62675014THE BSE (Best Summer Ever) LIST!

1. Blueberries
2. Art show in ShoeHorn
3. Lizzo concert
4. Thrift shop pop-up
5. Skinny Dipping at the lake house
6. Amusement Park Day!
7. Drew Barrymarathon
8. Paintball day

Oh, and ….

9. Fall out of love with Hailee

Andrea Williams has got this. The Best Summer Ever. Two summers ago, she spent all her time in bed, recovering from the latest surgery for her cerebral palsy. She’s waited too long for adventure and thrills to enter her life. Together with her crew of ride-or-die friends, and the best parents anyone could ask for (just don’t tell them that), she’s going to live it up.

There’s just one thing that could ruin it: Her best friend, Hailee, finding out Andrea’s true feelings. So Andrea WILL fall out of love with Hailee – even if it means dating the cute boy George who keeps showing up everywhere with a smile.

Do we want Andrea to succeed? No! Does she? We’re not telling!

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The Yards Between Us by R. K. Russell (May 16, 2023)

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.

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Transmogrify! ed. by g. haron-davis (May 16, 2023)

Transmogrify

Transness is as varied and colorful as magic can be. In Transmogrify!, you’ll embark on fourteen different adventures alongside unforgettable characters who embody many different genders and expressions and experiences—because magic is for everyone, and that is cause for celebration.

Featuring stories from:

  • AR Capetta and Cory McCarthy
  • g. haron davis
  • Mason Deaver
  • Jonathan Lenore Kastin
  • Emery Lee
  • Saundra Mitchell
  • Cam Montgomery
  • Ash Nouveau
  • Sonora Reyes
  • Renee Reynolds
  • Dove Salvatierra
  • Ayida Shonibar
  • Francesca Tacchi
  • Nik Traxler

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Forever is Now by Mariama J. Lockington (May 23, 2023)

54502830I’m safe here.

That’s how Sadie feels, on a perfect summer day, wrapped in her girlfriend’s arms. School is out, and even though she’s been struggling to manage her chronic anxiety, Sadie is hopeful better times are ahead. Or at least, she thought she was safe. When her girlfriend reveals some unexpected news and the two witness a violent incident of police brutality unfold before them, Sadie’s whole world is upended in an instant.

I’m not safe anywhere.

That’s how Sadie feels every day after—vulnerable, uprooted. She retreats inside as the weeks slip by and relies on her phone to stay connected to the outside world. When Sadie’s therapist gives her a diagnosis for her debilitating panic—agoraphobia—she starts on a path of acceptance and healing. Meanwhile, Sadie’s best friend, Evan, updates her on the protests taking place in their city. Sadie wants to be a part of it, to use her voice and affect change. But how do you show up for your community when you can’t even leave your house?

I can build a safe place inside myself.

That’s what Sadie learns over the course of one life-changing summer, with some help from her family, her best friend, an online platform for activists, and a magnetic crush she develops for the new boy next door.

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The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (May 23rd)

In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. At the group’s center are Ivan, a dancer turned aspiring banker who dabbles in amateur pornography; Fatima, whose independence and work ethic complicates her relationships with friends and a trusted mentor; and Noah, who “didn’t seek sex out so much as it came up to him like an anxious dog in need of affection.” These three are buffeted by a cast of poets, artists, landlords, meat-packing workers, and mathematicians who populate the cafes, classrooms, and food-service kitchens of Iowa City, sometimes to violent and electrifying consequence. Finally, as each prepares for an uncertain future, the group heads to a cabin to bid goodbye to their former lives—a moment of reckoning that leaves each of them irrevocably altered.

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The Art of Congressional Love by Sierra Elmore (June 12, 2023)

Unlike her private school classmates, 17-year-old and Yale-bound Kennedy Devon wasn’t born into a life of privilege. In fact, Kennedy and her mother are homeless. Kennedy refuses to be pitied, so she hides her secret from her friends and her girlfriend, Gwen Clark.

Kennedy’s secret is discovered when Senator Clark, her girlfriend’s father, finds out she’s homeless. Kennedy blackmails him into giving her a home and then some because she wants power and opportunity, to be a future President. He agrees that if she becomes his summer intern and excels, he’ll mentor her through the world of politics.

Only, at her internship, she discovers that Senator Clark is hiding a scandal so explosive it could tarnish his legacy.

Now Kennedy is caught between being loyal to the girl she loves, the senator who can wreck her life, and the country she hopes to serve. Because somebody’s life is going to implode, and she needs to make sure it’s not her own.

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You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron (June 20, 2023)

Cover for You're Not Supposed to Die TonightCharity Curtis has the summer job of her dreams, playing the “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake. Guests pay to be scared in this full-contact terror game, as Charity and her summer crew recreate scenes from a classic slasher film, Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. The more realistic the fear, the better for business.

But the last weekend of the season, Charity’s co-workers begin disappearing. And when one ends up dead, Charity’s role as the final girl suddenly becomes all too real. If Charity and her girlfriend Bezi hope to survive the night, they’ll need figure out what this killer is after. Is there is more to the story of Mirror Lake and its dangerous past than Charity ever suspected?

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Can’t Let Her Go by Kianna Alexander (June 20, 2023)

Can't Let Her GoPeaches Monroe and Jamie Hunt are core members of their Texas friend squad and have so much in common. They’re successful at their careers in personal care. They take Austin’s “Keep It Weird” vibe to heart, each leaning into their own unique talents and sense of style. And they’re both ready to go on to even bigger things. Is pushing past the boundaries of friendship into something deeper one of them? The red-hot fantasy is there…but so is real life.

Jamie’s college dreams will take her far from her hometown. She’s already road-tripping to possibilities from San Antonio to Houston. And Peaches has obligations of her own. Not only is she planning to expand her business, but she’s taking care of her family after her mother’s passing, leaving her overwhelmed and under pressure.

No matter how perfect Jamie and Peaches are for each other, is this the right time for romance? Finding their true selves comes first. Only then can they hope to pursue a future of lasting love—together.

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The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean (July 18, 2023)

Heavy is the crown James has been born to wear, especially as the first Black heir to the British throne. But with his father’s recent passing, and with a new boyfriend to hide, James is woefully unprepared for the sudden shine of public scrutiny.

When his secrets come spilling forth across tabloid pages and the man he thought he loved has suddenly disappeared, James finds himself on the precipice of ruin. As every detail of his life becomes public knowledge, his sense of safety is shattered and the people he trusts the most become the likeliest suspects.

What dangers lurk behind the palace walls—and will the new king find out before it’s too late?

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Monstrous by Jessica Lewis (September 12, 2023)

Don’t go outside past dark. Come straight home after church. And above all—never, ever, go into Red Wood.

These are the rules Latavia’s aunt tells her as soon as she arrives in Sanctum, Alabama for the summer. Weird, but Latavia isn’t here to solve any scary small town mysteries; she’s here for six weeks and six weeks only, and then she’s off to college and won’t look back. Still, Sanctum has its perks—mainly, the cute girl who works at the local ice cream shop.

But Latavia can’t ignore how strange her aunt’s tiny town is. The residents are suspicious of her and at times hostile, and it’s clear she’s some kind of outsider. That’s proven when Latavia is dragged out of her house in the dead of night, into the forbidden Red Wood, and presented as a human sacrifice to an ancient monster.

Latavia won’t be eaten without a fight. She’ll do whatever she has to do to survive—even if that includes making a deal with the monster, endangering her crush and family, and even risk turning into a monster herself.

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A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney (September 19, 2023)

This is the third and final book in the Nightmare-verse

Alice and her crew are doing their best to recover from the last boss battle, but some of them keep having these. . . dreams: visions of a dark past―and an even darker future. Sadly, the evil in Wonderland may not be as defeated as they’d hoped.

Attacked by Nightmares unlike any they’ve ever seen, Alice will have to step between the coming darkness and the mortal world once more. But this time is different. This time, the monsters aren’t waiting for her on the other side of the Veil.

They’re in her own back yard.

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Alex Wise vs. the End of the World by Terry J. Benton-Walker (September 26, 2023)

Alex Wise feels like his world is ending. His best friend, Loren, is leaving town for the summer, his former friend and maybe sort of crush Sky hasn’t spoken to him since he ditched Alex on first day of sixth grade, and now his mom is sending him and his annoying younger sister, Mags, on a cruise with the dad who abandoned them. And, as if things couldn’t get worse, a creepy shadow monster may or may not be stalking him.

But none of this could prepare Alex for the actual end of the world. Too bad that is exactly what’s coming, after the definitely-real Shadow Man kidnaps Mags and she is possessed by the ancient spirit of Death—one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Luckily (depending on who you ask), Alex is possessed as well by a powerful god who imbues Alex with their powers in an effort to stop the Horsemen…if he can figure out how to use them. So begins an epic battle between good and evil: Alex, Loren, a grumpy demi-god, and Alex’s fourth grade teacher vs. Death, Pestilence, Famine, War, and the waves of chaos and destruction they bring to LA and soon the rest of the globe. Just your average summer vacation.

Alex is more used to being left behind than leading the way, but now he’s the only one who can save his sister—and the world. That is, if he can unlock his new powers and and see himself as the hero he is.

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The Forest Demands its Due by Kosoko Jackson (October 3, 2023)

Regent Academy has a long and storied history in the small, sleepy town of Winslow, Vermont. But so does the vast, dense forest that surrounds its campus. While the prestigious school is known for molding teens into world leaders, its history is far more nefarious—and far more entangled with the forest—than anyone could begin to suspect.

Seventeen-year-old Douglas Jones wants nothing to do with Regent’s king-making; he’s just trying to forget his past and survive his present. But then a student is killed and, by the next day, no one remembers him ever exiting, except for Douglas and the groundskeeper’s son, Everett Everley. As Douglas begins to research what he finds to be a centuries-long curse in the town, he and Everett awaken a horror hidden within the forest. And to save the town, and the school, the forest wants more blood as payment. The question is, will Douglas and Everett be able to pay the debt?

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Just Like Her by Fiona Zedde (December 23, 2023)

Delphine’s life is made up of secrets. About her job, her sexual identity, and even her past.

She coasts along on a tide of half-truths until a familiar “straight” woman splashes deeper into her world, threatening her tenuous peace of mind.

This woman wants to be everything Delphine has never had before – a confidant, a seductress, a trusted lover. By giving in to this siren, is Delphine setting herself up for heartbreak?

Buy it: Amazon

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (March 19, 2024)

It’s like I keep stumbling into a dark room, searching for the switch to make things bright again. To make me remember. But the switch isn’t there. Was it there before?

Sade Hussein is starting her third year of high school, this time at the prestigious Alfred Nobel Academy boarding school. After being home-schooled all her life and feeling like a magnet for misfortune, she’s not sure what will happen. What she doesn’t expect though is for her roommate Elizabeth to disappear after Sade’s first night. Or for people to think she had something to do with it.

With rumors swirling around her, Sade catches the attention of the most popular girls in school – collectively known as the ‘Unholy Trinity’ – and they bring her into their fold. Between learning more about them – especially Persephone, who Sade finds herself drawn to – playing catch-up in class, and trying to figure out what happened to Elizabeth, Sade has a lot on her plate. It doesn’t help that she’s already dealing with grief from the many tragedies in her family.

And then a student is found dead.

The more Sade investigates, the more she realizes there’s more to Alfred Nobel Academy and its students than she realized. Secrets lurk around every corner and beneath every surface…secrets that rival even her own.

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A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins (May 28, 2024)

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Books to Add to Your TBR

June 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction and Poetry

Author of the forthcoming THE ROMANCE RECIPE and HOT COPY Ruby Barrett‘s THE LEARNING CURVE, where a bi, down-on-his-luck ex-firefighter joins a cross-disciplinary academic study teaching millennials how to make friends as adults, but an unexpected flirtation with an earnest people-pleasing female participant jeopardizes the study and their hearts, to Stephanie Doig at Carina Adores, for publication in winter 2024, by Kiana Nguyen at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world).

D’VAUGHN AND KRIS PLAN A WEDDING author Chencia C. Higgins’s untitled novel, set in a woman-owned, queer-friendly adult entertainment club, in which a teddy bear stud music producer breaks her own rules and romances her BFF, the club’s highest earning dancer and a devoted single mom, pitched as BROWN SUGAR meets P-Valley, to Kerri Buckley at Carina Adores, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023, by Keisha Mennefee at Honey Magnolia Media (world).

Sim Kern’s THE FREE PEOPLE’S VILLAGE, following a queer punk band in Houston swept up in an anti-capitalist revolution, in an alternate timeline where President Al Gore declared a War on Climate Change, transforming U.S. cities into solarpunk paradises—but only for wealthy white neighborhoods, to Irene Vazquez at Levine Querido, by Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency (world).

Author-illustrator of the LA Times Book Award finalist HONOR GIRL Maggie Thrash’s adult debut RAINBOW BLACK, part murder mystery, part gay international fugitive love story, part meditation on queerness and identity, set against the ’90s Satanic Panic and spanning 20 years in the life of a young woman pulled into its undertow, to Noah Eaker at Harper Perennial, for publication in spring 2024, by Stephen Barr at Writers House (NA).

Eugenio Volpe’s I, CARAVAGGIO, pitched as a postmodern retelling of the bisexual, street-fighting godfather of modern painting, to Christoph Paul at Clash, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in July 2023 (world English).

Writer, performance artist, and community healer Kai Cheng Thom’s LOVE LETTERS TO LOST SOULS, a collection of prose poems promising to uplift queer and marginalized people, show grace to those seemingly beyond saving, and affirm the imperfect yet sacred humanity in us all, to Katy Nishimoto at Dial Press, in a pre-empt, by Leonicka Valcius and Marilyn Biderman at Transatlantic Literary Agency (world, excl. Canada). Rights also to David Ross at Penguin Canada.

Audiobook narrator Travis Baldree’s LEGENDS & LATTES, in which an orc mercenary hopes to make a new start in life, opening the first coffee shop in Thune, to Lindsey Hall at Tor, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2022, by Jon Mitchell at Pan Macmillan.

I’M SO NOT OVER YOU author Kosoko Jackson’s WRANGLED AND ENTANGLED, a gay rom-com set on a family ranch in Montana, where a city boy licking his wounds post-breakup finds himself falling for the cowboy who never wanted his family legacy reduced to a tourist attraction in the first place, to Kristine Swartz and Mary Baker at Berkley, for publication in spring 2024, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world).

Rachel Runya Katz’s THANK YOU FOR SHARING, pitched for readers of Casey McQuiston, following two biracial former Jewish sleepaway camp crushes (and rivals) as they’re forced put aside their baggage to save their careers and work together 14 years later, only to realize that they can’t ignore their shared history or their growing feelings for each other, to Vicki Lame at Griffin, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Jessica Mileo at Inkwell Management (NA).

Lebanon Valley College Director of Creative Writing Holly M. Wendt’s HEADING NORTH, pitched for fans of THE ART OF FIELDING and the BEARTOWN series, tracking a season in which a gay Russian ice hockey player must rebuild his life in the NHL after tragedy and his general manager wrestles for team control while her marriage deteriorates, in a novel about grief and social change on the global stage of professional sport, to Jeffrey Condran at Braddock Avenue Books, in a nice deal, for publication in November 2023 (NA).

Meredith Mooring’s REDSIGHT, a debut science fantasy with positive bisexual and disability representation that follows a blind priestess who powers warships for the galactic military by manipulating spacetime; when the captain of her ship is murdered by a pirate with a dark past, the priestess must choose between a painful life of service or a chance at freedom with the galaxy’s most wanted criminal, to Amy Borsuk at Rebellion, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Ernie Chiara at Fuse Literary (world).

A.K. Mulford’s THE FIVE CROWNS OF OKRITH series, a queer fantasy romance series, the first of which is popular on TikTok, to David Pomerico at Voyager, in a major deal, for seven figures, in a five-book deal, for publication in October 2022, by Jessica Watterson at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (world English).

Sheila Connolly’s BLACK SAILS TO SUNWARD, the first in series in which a woman joins the Martian Imperial Navy to save her family’s waning fortunes but somehow ends up sucked into piracy with her ex-girlfriend instead, to Cate Pearce at Hansen, with Elizabeth Jeannel editing, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in July 2023.

Melissa Karibian’s A CHORUS OF ASHES AND SHADOWS, the sequel to A SONG OF SILVER AND GOLD, to Elizabeth Jeannel at Hansen, for publication in June 2023.

Children’s Fiction

Chinese Canadian writer, musician, and filmmaker, and author of THIS CITY IS A MINEFIELD Aaron Chan’s THE BROKEN HEART, a picture book pitched with identity-inspired LGBTQ2S+ themes, the story of a young girl who likes to fix things, and who sets out to help her brother mend his heart after his relationship with his boyfriend has ended, illustrated by Josiane Vlitos, to Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond Books, for publication in spring 2024, by Emmy Nordstrom Higdon at Westwood Creative Artists (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Author of IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND Robby Weber’s WHAT IS THIS FEELING?, a rom-com in which a high school theater star just wants to win a scavenger hunt and meet his Broadway idol on the drama club trip to New York City, but when he finds himself stuck sharing a room with his polar opposite, the snarky loner from the tech department, the last thing he expects is to form a friendship—and maybe more, to Connolly Bottum while at Inkyard Press, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Kristy Hunter at The Knight Agency (world English).

Kamilah Cole’s SO LET THEM BURN, pitched as “Jamaican Joan of Arc” and inspired by Zendaya’s 2018 Met Gala look, following a 17-year-old girl who once wielded the magic of the gods to save her island from dragon-riding colonizers and must now save her sister from the same enemy—even if it means bargaining with a long-forgotten god and ending the world, to Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown Children’s, in a six-figure deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2024, by Emily Forney at BookEnds (world).

Debut author Carolyn Hill’s MASK OF CELIBACY, a 1990s-set novel featuring two heteroromantic ace characters, to Rebecca Sands at Wattpad, for publication in summer 2024 (world).

Author of YOU’RE NEXT Kylie Schachte’s HEARTS OF GOLD, a queer action-adventure pitched as Our Flag Means Death meets modern-day Indiana Jones, in which the daughter of an archeologist must team up with her archnemesis to uncover the truth about a legendary gang of female pirates—and find their long-lost treasure, to Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in fall 2023, by Margaret Sutherland Brown at Folio Literary Management (world).

Nonfiction

Cohost of the Queer Kids Stuff YouTube series and TED speaker Lindz Amer‘s HOORAY FOR HE, SHE, ZE, AND THEY!, a celebration of pronouns and gender euphoria, illustrated by Kate Alizadeh, to Celia Lee at Simon & Schuster Children’s, for publication in 2024, by Claire Draper at The Bent Agency for the author, and by Mandy Suhr at Miles Stott Agency for the illustrator (world).

Professor of history at Eastern Michigan University John G. McCurdy‘s THE PARSON IS A BUGGERER: HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, the story of the trial of Lieutenant Robert Newburgh, placing LGBTQ+ presence at the founding of the United States, to Laura Davulis at Johns Hopkins University Press, by Christopher Rogers at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (world).

Artist, publisher, and founder of Hello Mr. magazine Ryan Fitzgibbon’s untitled compendium of queer storytelling, collecting material from the magazine’s archives alongside new material from today’s emerging queer artists and writers, contextualizing the magazine’s lasting impact while celebrating a new generation of LGBTQ+ creators, to Zachary Knoll at Abrams, in an exclusive submission, by Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world).

National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of GAY BAR Jeremy Atherton Lin’s DEEP HOUSE, a pre- and post-Obergefell love story weaving the author’s decades-long, transnational romance into a larger inquiry into the many ways queer couples lived and loved before gay marriage became legal, to Jean Garnett at Little, Brown, in a good deal, by Laura Macdougall at United Agents (NA).