I have been anticipating this book since what feels like the beginning of time, so I’m thrilled to be revealing Maya Dean’s Wrath Goddess Sing, releasing June 7, 2022 from William Morrow! Here’s the story:
Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy.
The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.
Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.
An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.
And here’s the stunning cover by Marcela Bolivar, with art direction by Richard Aquan!
Maya Deane first retold the Iliad at the age of six. Athena was the protagonist; all six pages were typed up on a Commodore 64; there were many spelling errors. (She has only doubled down since then.) A graduate of the University of Maryland and the Rutgers-Camden MFA, Maya lives with her fiancée of many years, their dear friend, and two cats named after gods. She is a trans woman, bisexual, and fond of spears, books, and jewelry. Aphrodite smiles upon her.
Is anyone on earth still unaware of how much I loved this Persian mythology-inspired bisexual f/f YA fantasy? Probably not, but if you thought I was going to miss a huge chance to recommend it every day of the month, you were sorely mistaken! If you are at all into YA fantasy, Sapphic books, mythology, or Things That Are Very Good, I think I’ve said all I need to say. Go do yourself a favor.
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
It is hands-down one of the most popular rec requests I get on the LGBTQReads Tumblr to provide a queer book based on Greek mythology, especially one centered around women. So when I saw the book deal announcement for this one, I tracked it every step of the way to make sure I’d be able to help its eager audience find it! I’m so thrilled to be able to reveal the beautiful cover here! But first, check out the official blurb for Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi, releasing from Flux/North Star Editions on November 27:
The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.
To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia—where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina.
As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’s second rule. She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.
And now, here’s the beautiful cover, designed by Jake Nordby, and a post by the author!
Hi everyone! I’m so thrilled to share the cover of OUTRUN THE WIND with you. This is my debut novel, and as a first-time author, I wasn’t sure what to expect during the cover design process. Luckily, the team at Flux has been great every step of the way, and presented me with three potential cover concepts. Right off the bat, we all seemed to be in agreement that this was the winner. I adore the moonlit Greek forest framing my two main characters. There’s Atalanta up front, fierce and beautiful as always. We can see Kahina emerging from the shadows, about to make a decision that will change both of their lives forever.
Kahina and Atalanta’s story was an adventure to write. In fact, OUTRUN THE WIND was conceived almost entirely out of spite—I was struggling to make sense of the stories of Atalanta from Greek mythology. I was angry that she often ended up with Hippomenes, a man that used trickery and divine influence to marry her. I was confused by Atalanta’s decision to kill the men she raced. I had other questions about Greek mythology that bubbled to the surface, and eventually, I dragged this book out of me. I certainly altered many aspects of Atalanta’s original legends, but hopefully readers will understand my choices and consider this new perspective.
Some of my absolute favorite novels—like THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller and THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee—are phenomenal stories that give a voice to narratives in history and mythology that have too long been silenced. In writing Kahina and Atalanta’s relationship, especially in an ancient Greek setting, I hoped to emphasize and normalize the fact that queer people have always existed. Queer stories are important in any case, but I especially love seeing them in historical contexts. Even though these stories were often erased or shoved aside, now we can attempt to rewrite them and restore them to their rightful place in history. In addition, like many other readers my age, I grew up transfixed by mythology and books like Percy Jackson. I hope that incorporating this story into a Greek myth is something others will find engaging and exciting.
Thank you so much for checking out my cover reveal of OUTRUN THE WIND! Please consider pre-ordering a copy or request it at your local library. The book hits shelves November 27th. Atalanta and Kahina can’t wait to meet you!
Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but she is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at rehearsal for one of her vocal ensembles, or at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. Outrun the Wind is her debut novel. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at annabethisterrified, Twitter at @ElizabethTammi, Instagram at elizabeth_tammi, and at elizabethtammi.com.