Tag Archives: Love at First Set

Deal Announcements: November 2022

Adult Fiction

Autostraddle contributor Shelly Jay Shore‘s BODIES IN WATER, pitched as One Last Stop meets Six Feet Under, about a clairvoyant trans man drawn back to his messy Jewish family and their imploding funeral home business after a lifetime of trying to outrun both, who must confront the ghosts of his disappointed grandfather and the gone-too-soon husband of his charming new crush in order to move forward in life and love, to Jesse Shuman at Bantam Dell, in a pre-empt, by Ayla Zuraw-Friedland at Frances Goldin Literary Agency (NA).

Philip William Stover‘s THE PROBLEM WITH PERFECT, in which the executive producer of a hit LGBTQ lifestyle show finds that the handsome host goes AWOL right before the all-important live Pride broadcast and the only option is to track down the host’s estranged identical twin brother and teach him to play the part; transforming this human sasquatch into a star is no easy task, but when romance blossoms behind the scenes, perfection is about to get real, to Keshini Naidoo at Hera, for publication in summer 2023, by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Birch Path Literary (world English).

Former bookseller and LGTBQ+ activist Alana S. Portero’s BAD HABIT, a coming-of-age novel about the journey a trans woman takes to discover herself against a world that has no space for her, with the backdrop of a working-class family in the Madrid of the ’80s and the ’90s, to Juan Mila at Harper Via, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, by Maria Cardona at Aevitas Creative Management UK (world English).

Editor-in-Chief of Electric Literature, MacDowell Fellow, and cohost of the Food 4 Thot podcast Denne Michele Norris’s WHEN THE HARVEST COMES, about a young Black gay man reckoning with the death of his reverend father, who never accepted him, exploring the effect of this loss on his marriage and how it forces him to confront his deepest desires around gender, family, and sex; pitched for readers of SHUGGIE BAIN, to Noa Shapiro at Random House, in a pre-empt, by Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic (world).

SOME GIRLS DO author Jennifer Dugan‘s LOVE AT FIRST SET, a queer rom-com about a gym employee who accidentally ruins her bosses’ daughter’s wedding, then even more accidentally falls for the runaway bride, to Sylvan Creekmore at Avon, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in May 2023, by Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties (world English).

Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow and Publishing Coordinator at Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books Jiaming Tang‘s CINEMA LOVE, about gay men in rural China, the women who marry them, and the secret theater where their husbands cruised for love; spanning three timelines—from contemporary New York to late 80s Chinatown to post-socialist China—and examining the legacies of caregiving and assimilation in Chinese America, to Pilar Garcia-Brown at Dutton, at auction, by Kent Wolf at Neon Literary (NA).

Host and founder of the storytelling night Generation Women and author of IT HAD TO BE YOU and ISLAND TIME Georgia Clark‘s MOST WONDERFUL, a queer holiday rom-com about three adult siblings, each dealing with their own personal and romantic struggles, who reunite at their larger-than-life mother’s Catskills manor for Christmas, to Emma Caruso and Katy Nishimoto at Dial Press, in a two-book deal, by Allison Hunter at Trellis Literary Management (world English).

NYU MFA graduate Jessie Ren Marshall‘s WOMEN! IN! PERIL!, a story collection with queer and speculative elements that features a diverse cast of women, including a former ballerina with memory loss, an Asian sex-bot trying to outlast her return policy, and a pioneer traveling on a spaceship to populate a new colony; and ALOHALAND, a novel set on Hawai’i Island, following two half-sisters—one a resort’s “Aloha Ambassador” forced to cater to the guests’ every whim, the other a reality TV star—who grapple with questions of home and belonging as they face a megastorm fueled by global warming, to Grace McNamee at Bloomsbury, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2024, by Michelle Brower and Natalie Edwards at Trellis Literary Management (NA).

Screenwriter Emma R. Alban’s MISCHIEF & MATCHMAKING, a queer Victorian romance in which two debutantes distract themselves from having to seek husbands by setting up their widowed parents, and instead find their perfect match in each other, pitched as a lesbian Bridgerton/Parent Trap, the first book in a duology, to Sylvan Creekmore at Avon, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2024, by Stacy Testa at Writers House (world).

Reese Hogan‘s audiobook MY HEART IS HUMAN, a near-future SF thriller set in a world that has shut down tech to avoid an AI uprising, about a young transgender dad who, during the chaos of a robbery, activates an old bionic that uploads itself into his head, and he and the bionic must navigate the blurred lines between human and machine while uncovering the true reasons for the tech shut down, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, by Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency, on behalf of Cameron McClure (world English).

Author of EMPANADA: A LESBIAN STORY IN PROBADITAS Anel Flores’s CURTAINS OF TEARS, which follows the story of a woman who escapes her small border town and arrives at the door of her gay tios on a quest to queer traditions, turn trauma into triumph, and find home, to Lisa Pegram at Jaded Ibis Press, for publication in January 2024 (world English).

Brooklyn MFA graduate and former Truman Capote fellow Zachary Solomon‘s ZELNIK, about a queer Jewish architecture student who flees his antisemitic homeland for a new life in a utopian city in the west, where, to his horror, he uncovers the same machinery of human oppression hidden beneath a veneer of civilization, an allegory for the Jewish emigre experience and a dark exploration of the interconnections between art, artifice, and the fascist urge, to Christine Neulieb at Lanternfish Press, for publication in spring of 2024, by Reeves Hamilton at Vertical Ink Agency (world English).

Ollie Hicks and Emma Oosterhous‘s second and third books in the queer, magical-girl sports romance GRAND SLAM ROMANCE series, following former rivals to lovers as they face a new league of challengers and challenges, to Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams ComicArts, with Mariko Tamaki editing, in a very nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2024, by Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management (world).

Children’s Fiction

TEAM TRASH AND THE TIME BOT cocreator Kate Wheeler’s graphic novel GOAT MAGIC, pitched for fans of Wolfwalkers and MOONCAKES, about two girls on an adventure—one a reluctant goatherd, the other a goat who happens to be an enchanted princess—and how their friendship blossoms into something more as they confront treachery against the throne, to Grace Scheipeter at Oni Press, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).

Young Adult Fiction

Author of the anthology VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker, eds.’s MERMAIDS NEVER DROWN, stories by the editors and Darcie Little Badger, Kalynn Bayron, Preeti Chhibber, Rebecca Coffindaffer, Julie C. Dao, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Adriana Herrera, June Hur, Katherine Locke, Kerri Maniscalco, Julie Murphy, Gretchen Schreiber, and Julian Winters; and FAERIES NEVER LIE, including stories by the editors and Nafiza Azad, Holly Black, Dhonielle Clayton, Christine Day, Chloe Gong, Tessa Gratton, Ryan La Sala, Kwame Mbalia, L.L. McKinney, Anna-Marie McLemore, Kaitlyn Sage Patterson, Linda Raquel Nieves Perez, and Rory Power, to Foyinsi Adegbonmire and Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends, for publication in fall 2023 and fall 2024, respectively, by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media for Cordova and Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency for Parker (world).

Kara A. Kennedy’s debut I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU, a YA speculative thriller pitched as Kara Thomas meets THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, about a girl being haunted by the ghost of her toxic ex-girlfriend, who gives her a chilling ultimatum—help her possess another girl or go down for her murder, to Hannah Hill at Delacorte, for publication in fall 2024, by Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (NA).

Robin Talley‘s EVERYTHING GLITTERED, a sapphic thriller set at an elite boarding school in Washington, DC circa 1927, in which three young women become involved in the investigation of the murder of their controversial young headmistress, to Erika Turner at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in summer 2024, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world English).

Author of DANCING BEARS Rob Costello, ed.’s QUEER BEASTIES, an anthology that celebrates the monster as a positive and empowering metaphor for the otherness of being queer, with contributions from Costello, Kalynn Bayron, David Bowles, H.E. Edgmon, Michael Thomas Ford, Naomi Kanakia, Claire Kann, Sam J. Miller, and Alexandra Villasante, among others, to Britny Brooks-Perilli at Running Press Kids, for publication in May 2024, by Marie Lamba at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency (world English).

Erin Cotter’s debut BY ANY OTHER NAME, a historical romp set in Elizabethan England, pitched as THE GENTLEMEN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE meets THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS, in which a young Shakespearean actor must partner with a dashing lord to solve the murder of his playwright friend, while trying to keep their budding romance a secret from the royal family, to Nicole Ellul at Simon & Schuster Children’s, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Hilary Harwell at kt literary (world).

Author of GEARBREAKERS and GODSLAYERS Zoe Hana Mikuta‘s OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, where blood and betrayal meet in this sapphic, Korean-inspired book pitched as a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland in which two girls’ (horrible, cruel, and precariously balanced on that line between love and murder) twisted past comes to light as they’re once again thrust into each other’s lives and beckoned back to the dark, monster-filled forest where it all began: Wonderland, to Rebecca Kuss at Disney-Hyperion, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2024, by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world English).

Author of the forthcoming THE VERMILION EMPORIUM Jamie Pacton‘s THE ABSINTHE UNDERGROUND, a sapphic friends-to-lovers romantasy, pitched as JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL meets Holly Black, in which an artist and her best friend are pulled into the glittering world of an underground nightclub, where a green fairy enlists them to steal from a magician’s house, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2024, by Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary (world).

Non-Fiction

Peloton instructor and Dancing with the Stars finalist Cody Rigsby‘s XOXO, CODY: AN OPINIONATED HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO SELF-LOVE, RELATIONSHIPS, AND TACTFUL PETTINESS, chronicling the author’s journey growing up gay and poor in the South with an addict mom to somehow going from broke dancer to fitness icon, with stories about learning how to handle the scary sh*t, interspersed with Q&As and his rankings on everything from fashion faux pas to celebrity breakups, to Sara Weiss at Ballantine, at auction, by David Doerrer at A3 Artists Agency.

Authors of THE GAY AGENDA and QUEER TAROT and owners of the Ash + Chess stationery store Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham’s THE BIG BOOK OF QUEER STICKERS, a compendium of their most recognizable art pieces in decal format, such as “Trans People Belong Here,” “Make America Gay Again,” “Every Body is a Good Body,” along with never-before-seen new queer art, to Shannon Connors Fabricant at Running Press, in an exclusive submission, by Meg Thompson at Thompson Literary Agency (world).

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Love at First Set by Jennifer Dugan

What’s that? One of your favorite queer YA novelists is now writing adult f/f romance? She sure is! Love at First Set by Jennifer Dugan releases from Avon on May 23, 2023, and we’ve got the first look! Here’s the story: 

This irresistible adult debut from beloved YA author Jennifer Dugan is a queer romcom for fans of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care and Written in the Stars, in which a woman gives a drunken bathroom pep talk to a hot stranger, only to find out it’s the bride-to-be she has convinced to leave her fiancé the night before the wedding.

The gym is Lizzie’s life—it’s her passion, her job, and the only place that’s ever felt like home. Unfortunately, her bosses consider her a glorified check-in girl at best, and the gym punching bag at worst.

When their son, Lizzie’s best friend James, begs her to be his plus one at his perfect sister Cara’s wedding, things go wrong immediately, culminating in Lizzie giving a drunken pep talk to a hot stranger in the women’s bathroom—except that stranger is actually the bride-to-be, and Lizzie has accidentally convinced her to ditch her groom.

Now, newly directionless Cara is on a quest to find herself, and Lizzie—desperate to make sure her bosses never find out her role in this disaster—gets strong-armed by James into “entertaining” her. Cara doesn’t have to know it’s a setup; it’ll just be a quick fling before she sobers up and goes back to her real life. After all, how could someone like Cara fall for someone like Lizzie, with no career and no future?

But the more Lizzie gets to know Cara, the more she likes her, and the more is on the line if any of her rapidly multiplying secrets get out. Because now it’s not just Lizzie’s job and entire future on the line, but also the girl of her dreams.

And here’s the delightfully flirty cover by Monika Roe!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | Northshire (signed)

Jennifer Dugan is the author of the young adult novels Some Girls Do, Melt With You, Verona Comics, and Hot Dog Girl, as well as the graphic novel Coven. She lives in upstate New York with her family and two beloved, yet terrible, cats. Love at First Set is her first adult novel.