Tag Archives: Zachary Sergi

Fave Five: New Queer YA Horror with Male MCs

For new queer YA horror with female MCs, click here.

The Pledge by Cale Dietrich

Your Lonely Nights Are Over by Adam Sass

The Spirit Bares its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White

Beholder by Ryan La Sala

This Pact is Not Ours by Zachary Sergi

Bonus: Coming in 2024, Malicia by Steven Dos Santos

Double Bonus: While it’s not Horror, The Forest Demands its Due by Kosoko Jackson is a paranormal thriller that definitely fits the vibe of spooky season!

 

New Releases: October 2023

Eli Over Easy by Phil Stamper (3rd)

Eli Over Easy by [Phil Stamper]The last few months have been pretty tough for Eli. He moved to New York City and left his small-town in Minnesota with his extended family and everyone he knows. He hasn’t made any new friends. And his mom died unexpectedly, shattering his whole world. He misses Mom more and more every day, but Dad refuses to talk about her, leaving Eli alone in his grief.

Then Eli finds a stash of instructional cooking videos his mom made, revealing her dream of being a celebrity chef. With the help of the cute new neighbor boy, Mathias, Eli decides to follow his mother’s recipes using her videos. If he can recreate his mom’s special dishes, then maybe a part of her can stay with him forever. But what happens when the videos run out?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

How to Get Over the End of the World by Hal Schrieve (3rd)

How to Get Over the End of the World: A Novel by [Hal Schrieve]James Goldman, self-described neurotic goth gay transsexual stoner, is a senior in high school, and fully over it. He mostly ignores his classes at Cow Pie High, instead focusing on fundraising for the near-bankrupt local LGBTQ+ youth support group, Compton House, and attending punk shows with his friend-crush Ian and best friend Opal. But when James falls in love with Orsino, a homeschooled trans boy with telepathic powers and visions of the future, he wonders if the scope of what he believes possible is too small. Orsino, meanwhile, hopes that in James he has finally found someone who will be able to share the apocalyptic visions he has had to keep to himself, and better understand the powers they hold.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Kween by Vichet Chum (3rd)

Soma Kear’s verses have gone viral. Trouble is, she didn’t exactly think her slam poetry video through. All she knew was that her rhymes were urgent. On fire. An expression of where she was, and that place…was a hot mess.

Following her Ba’s deportation back to Cambodia, everything’s changed. Her Ma is away trying to help Ba adjust to his new life, and her older sister has taken charge with a new authoritarian tone. Meanwhile, Soma’s trending video pushes her to ask if it’s time to level up. With her school’s spoken word contest looming, Soma must decide: Is she brave enough to put herself out there? To publicly reveal her fears of Ba not returning? To admit that things may never be the same?

With every line she spits, Soma searches for a way to make sense of the world around her. The answers are at the mic.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

The Forest Demands its Due by Kosoko Jackson (3rd)

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?

Critically acclaimed author Kosoko Jackson explores how power can—and will—corrupt absolutely and how cycles of violence are perpetuated throughout history in this high-octane, page-turning dark academia mystery of murder and magic.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

The Spells We Cast by Jason June (3rd)

63085402. sy475 Nigel Barrett has spent his whole life preparing for the Culling, a spell-casting competition that determines which of the world’s teenage magicians will be stripped of their powers to preserve magical balance. But nothing could have prepared him to face Ori Olson, a broody rival whose caustic wit cloaks a painful past.

From the moment Nigel and Ori meet, sparks fly. Their powers are stronger, more thrilling, the closer they get—not that they can risk becoming attached. Because as the field narrows and the Culling grows more dangerous, Nigel and Ori realize there’s more at stake than just their powers. The greatest threat to magic, their future, and all of humanity might be the connection growing between them…

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Salt the Water by Candice Iloh (3rd)

Cerulean Gene is free everywhere except school, where they’re known for repeatedly challenging authority. Raised in a free-spirited home by two loving parents who encourage Cerulean to be their full self, they’ve got big dreams of moving cross-country to live off the grid with their friends after graduation. But a fight with a teacher spirals out of control, and Cerulean impulsively drops out to avoid the punishment they fear is coming. Why wait for graduation to leave an oppressive capitalist system and live their dreams?

Cerulean is truly brilliant, but their sheltered upbringing hasn’t prepared them for the consequences of their choice — especially not when it’s compounded by a family emergency that puts a parent out of work. Suddenly the money they’d been stacking with their friends is a resource that the family needs to stay afloat.

Salt the Water is a book about dreaming in a world that has other plans for your time, your youth, and your future. It asks, what does it look like when a bunch of queer Black kids are allowed to dream? And what does it look like for them to confront the present circumstances of the people they love while still pursuing a wildly different future of their own?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Beholder by Ryan La Sala (3rd)

No one survived the party at the penthouse. Except Athan.

Athanasios “Athan” Bakirtzis has made it far in life relying on his charm and good looks, even securing an invitation to a mysterious penthouse soiree for New York City’s artsy elite. But when he sneaks off to the bathroom, he hears a slam, followed by a scream. Athan peers outside, only to be pushed back in by a boy his age. The boy gravely tells him not to open the door, then closes Athan in.

Outside the door, the party descends into chaos. Through hours of howls, laughter, and sobs, Athan stays hidden. When he finally emerges, he discovers a massacre where the corpses appear to have arranged themselves into a disturbingly elegant sculpture―and Athan’s mysterious savior is nowhere to be found. Athan―the only known survivor―is now the primary suspect.

In a race to prove his innocence, Athan is swept up in a supernatural mystery, one of secret occult societies and deadly eldritch horrors with rather distinctive taste. Something evil is waking up in the walls of New York City, and it’s compelling victims toward violence, chaos, and self-destruction. Bound to him by a mysterious hereditary power, Athan has felt this evil hiding behind his reflection his entire life, watching him. Waiting. Now, it’s taking over.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

This Pact is Not Ours by Zachary Sergi (3rd)

The summer before college Luca Piccone returns to Copper Cove, the idyllic campsite he and his closest friends have visited every year since they were kids. To Luca, Copper Cove is like the setting of the fantasy movies he loves, a sanctuary, protected from the dangers of the outside world, where nothing goes wrong and everything stays the same.

But this year things are changing.

Desperate to make this summer the best one yet, Luca tries to ignore the freshly torn rifts within his tight friend group, the pangs of unrequited love, the anxiety attacks he thought he’d left back at school, and the shadows at the edge of the forest threatening to break free. Until he learns the terrible truth.

Every generation the children of four families are bound by a pact. A pact designed to keep the camp pristine and the monstrous force lurking beneath the campsite imprisoned. But in order to do this, an unthinkable price must be paid–a price that has soaked the previous generations in blood. Can Luca keep his friends, and his favorite place, from being ripped apart?

By the end of the summer, only one thing is for certain: Copper Cove will never be the same again.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Dragging Mason County by Curtis Campbell (3rd)

Peter Thompkins needs a public image overhaul. After a tense confrontation with one of the few other queer kids in his small-town high school, rumors about him are becoming more elaborate by the day. Meanwhile, his best friend Alan (aka teen drag queen Aggie Culture) is throwing Mason County’s debut Drag Extravaganza. Although Peter is a self-described “dragnostic,” he decides to help produce the show, hoping to prove that he isn’t a self-hating gay. In the process, he finds himself facing down angry guard dogs, angrier bigots, and a very high-strung church lady. As backlash grows, Peter begins to wonder whether he’s setting fire to his already damaged reputation and if his friendship with Alan will survive past curtain call.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

The Dead Take the A Train by Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey (3rd)

Julie is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-year-old whose only retirement plan is dying early. She’s been trying to establish herself in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs, exorcize the nastiest demons, and make deals with the cruelest gods to claw her way to the top. But nothing can prepare her for the toughest job yet: when her best friend, Sarah, shows up at her door in need of help. Keeping Sarah safe becomes top priority.

Julie is desperate for a quick fix to break the dead-end grind and save her friend. But her power grab sets off a deadly chain of events that puts Sarah – and the entire world – directly in the path of annihilation.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N

Bloom by Delilah S. Dawson (3rd)

Rosemary meets Ash at the farmers’ market. Ash—precise, pretty, and practically perfect—sells bars of soap in delicate pastel colors, sprinkle-spackled cupcakes stacked on scalloped stands, beeswax candles, jelly jars of honey, and glossy green plants.

Ro has never felt this way about another woman; with Ash, she wants to be her and have her in equal measure. But as her obsession with Ash consumes her, she may find she’s not the one doing the devouring…

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Pluralities by Avi Silver (3rd)

“Wait—rewind. I was still a girl back then, before the universes converged.”

Guided by premonitions and a fateful car ride, a burned-out retail worker stumbles into the grand exit from womanhood. Meanwhile, in a galaxy not so far away, an alien prince goes rogue with his sentient spaceship, seeking purpose in the great glimmering void. As the two of them come together in a fusion of body and mind, they must reckon with their assigned identities.

Tender, witty, and daring, Pluralities is a slipstream-meets-space-adventure story honoring the long and turbulent journey into gender euphoria.

Buy it: Amazon | Atthis Arts

A Necessary Chaos by Brent C. Lambert (3rd)

Vade is an anarchist, a Phantom Dragon. Althus is a Touchstone―an Imperial agent.

Their love was never meant to survive.

In a world of magical empires and the anarchists that would tear them down, A Necessary Chaos is the story of Althus and Vade, assigned to spy on the other by opposing sides. But now that they’ve both caught feelings, where will their loyalties fall? They must each decide if they’ll follow orders or find a way to make their romance thrive beyond the lies.

Part of the Neon Hemlock Novella Series.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Let Me Out by Emmett Nahil (text) and George Williams (illustration) (3rd)

A face-off with the devil! From writer Emmett Nahil (Leatherwood) and illustrator George Williams (Croc and Roll) comes a queer horror story set against the backdrop of an outbreak of “satanic panic” sweeping the New Jersey suburbs in 1979.

When Pastor Holley’s wife, Kelly, is found murdered, FBI agent Garrett takes on the case with local New Jersey Sheriff Mullen. Together they start drumming up a convenient satanic-flavored scapegoat to cover up their own crimes of murder and experimentation. That scapegoat comes in the form of four friends: Mitch, Terri, Lupe, and Jackson. The punks, the queers, and the outcasts. Soon the group becomes the prime suspects of Kelly’s murder. Now on the run from Garrett and Mullen, the group finds themselves in the midst of a deal with the devil themself.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

In the Form of a Question: the Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Amy Schneider (3rd)

In eighth grade, Amy was voted “Most likely to appear on Jeopardy!” by her classmates. Decades later, this trailblazer finally got her chance. Not only did she walk away with $1.3 million while captivating the world with her impressive forty-game winning streak, but she made history and won an even greater prize—the joy of being herself on national television and blazing a trail for openly queer and transgender people around the world. Now, she shares her singular journey that led to becoming an unlikely icon and hero to millions. Her super power: Boundless curiosity and fearless questioning.

In the Form of a Question explores some of the innumerable topics that have fascinated Amy throughout her life—books and music, Tarot and astrology, popular culture and computers, sex and relationships—but they all share the same purpose: to illustrate, and celebrate, the results of a lifetime spent asking, why?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Songs of Irie by Asha Ashanti Bromfield (10th)

It’s 1976 and Jamaica is on fire. The country is on the eve of important elections and the warring political parties have made the divisions between the poor and the wealthy even wider. And Irie and Jilly come from very different backgrounds: Irie is from the heart of Kingston, where fighting in the streets is common. Jilly is from the hills, where mansions nestled within lush gardens remain safe behind gates. But the two bond through a shared love of Reggae music, spending time together at Irie’s father’s record store, listening to so-called rebel music that opens Jilly’s mind to a sound and a way of thinking she’s never heard before.

As tensions build in the streets, so do tensions between the two girls. A budding romance between them complicates things further as the push and pull between their two lives becomes impossible to bear. For Irie, fighting—with her words and her voice—is her only option. Blood is shed on the streets in front of her every day. She has no choice. But Jilly can always choose to escape.

Can their bond survive this impossible divide?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Being Ace ed. by Madeline Dyer (10th)

Discover the infinite realms of asexual love across sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary stories

From a wheelchair user racing to save her kidnapped girlfriend and a little mermaid who loves her sisters more than suitors, to a slayer whose virgin blood keeps attracting monsters, the stories of this anthology are anything but conventional. Whether adventuring through space, outsmarting a vengeful water spirit, or surviving haunted cemeteries, no two aces are the same in these 14 unique works that highlight asexual romance, aromantic love, and identities across the asexual spectrum.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Charming Young Man by Eliot Schrefer (10th)

They say Léon Delafosse will be France’s next great pianist. But despite his being the youngest student ever accepted into the prestigious Paris Conservatory, there’s no way an impoverished musician can make his way in 1890s Paris without an outside patron.

Young gossip columnist Marcel Proust takes Léon under his wing, and the boys game their way through an extravagant new world. When the larger-than-life Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac offers his patronage, Léon’s dreams are made real. But the closer he gets to becoming France’s next great thing, the further he strays from his old country life he shared with his family and his best friend Félix . . . a boy he might love.

With each choice Léon makes, he must navigate a fine line between two worlds—or risk losing them both.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

The Fall of Whit Rivera by Crystal Maldonado (10th)

Frenemies Whit and Zay have been at odds for years (ever since he broke up with her in, like, the most embarrassing way imaginable), so when they’re forced to organize the fall formal together, it’s a literal disaster. Sparks fly as Whitney—type-A, passionate, a perfectionist, and a certified sweater-weather fanatic—butts heads with Zay, a dry, relaxed skater boy who takes everything in stride. But not all of those sparks are bad. . . .

Has their feud been a big misunderstanding all along?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

By Any Other Name by Erin Cotter (10th)

London, 1593. Sixteen-year-old Will Hughes is busy working on Shakespeare’s stage, stuffing his corsets with straw and pretending to be someone else. Offstage, he’s playing a part, too. The son of traitors, Will is desperate to keep his identity secret—or risk being killed in the bloody queen’s imperial schemes. All he wants is to lay low until he earns enough coin to return to his family.

But when his mentor, the famous playwright Christopher Marlowe, is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Will’s plans are hopelessly dashed. What’s worse, Marlowe was a spy for the queen, tasked with stalking a killer rumored to be part of an elusive order of assassins, and his secrets and untimely death have put Will under a harsh spotlight. And so, when Will unwittingly foils an attempt on the queen’s life, she names him her next spymaster.

Now, to avoid uncomfortable questions, prison, or an even more terrible fate, Will reluctantly starts his new career, which—yes—will secure him the resources to help his family…but at what cost? Adding insult to injury is the young Lord James Bloomsbury, Will’s new comrade in arms, whose entitled demeanor and unfairly handsome looks get under Will’s skin immediately.

Together, the two hunt the cunning assassin, defend the queen’s life, and pray to keep their own…all while an unexpected connection blossoms between them.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Brooms by Jasmine Walls (text) and Teo DuVall (art) (10th)

It’s 1930s Mississippi. Magic is permitted only in certain circumstances, and by certain people. Unsanctioned broom racing is banned. But for those who need the money, or the thrills…it’s there to be found.

Meet Billie Mae, captain of the Night Storms racing team, and Loretta, her best friend and second-in-command. They’re determined to make enough money to move out west to a state that allows Black folks to legally use magic and take part in national races.

Cheng-Kwan – doing her best to handle the delicate and dangerous double act of being the perfect “son” to her parents, and being true to herself while racing.

Mattie and Emma — Choctaw and Black — the youngest of the group and trying to dodge government officials who want to send them and their newly-surfaced powers away to boarding school.

And Luella, in love with Billie Mae. Her powers were sealed away years ago after she fought back against the government. She’ll do anything to prevent the same fate for her cousins.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender (10th)

Logan Gray is the stereotypical bad boy of Hollywood—a talented but troubled actor who the public loves to hate. Mattie Cole is an up‑and‑coming golden boy, adored by all but plagued by insecurities.

When Mattie is cast as the love interest in Logan’s newest film, the two are persuaded into a fake‑dating scheme to bring positive publicity to the project. But as the two actors get to know their new characters, real feelings start to develop. And while both need the movie to be a success for their own reasons, neither thought opposites would really attract.

But as the public scrutiny intensifies and old wounds resurface, will they have the courage to chase their own happily ever after?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Shoot the Moon by Isa Arsen (10th)

Intelligent but isolated physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. When she lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, she feels certain this path is her destiny. Her memories of childhood darkened by loss, she’s left behind her home, her mother, and her first love. And now she’s finally found her purpose. Even typing dictation, the work is everything she dreamed, and despite her budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t let herself be distracted. Not now.

So when her inability to ignore an engineer’s mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her fears and reach toward the limits of human advancement? Will she chase her ambitions, and risk losing herself in them?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

The Bell in the Fog by Lev A.C. Rosen (10th)

This is the sequel to Lavender House

San Francisco, 1952. Detective Evander “Andy” Mills has started a new life for himself as a private detective―but his business hasn’t exactly taken off. It turns out that word spreads fast when you have a bad reputation, and no one in the queer community trusts him enough to ask an ex-cop for help.

When James, an old flame from the war who had mysteriously disappeared, arrives in his offices above the Ruby, Andy wants to kick him out. But the job seems to be a simple case of blackmail, and Andy’s debts are piling up. He agrees to investigate, despite everything it stirs up.

The case will take him back to the shadowy, closeted world of the Navy, and then out into the gay bars of the city, where the past rises up to meet him, like the swell of the ocean under a warship. Missing people, violent strangers, and scandalous photos that could destroy lives are a whirlpool around him, and Andy better make sense of it all before someone pulls him under for good.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Brainwyrms by Alison Rumfitt (10th)

When a transphobic woman bombs Frankie’s workplace, she blows up Frankie’s life with it. As the media descends like vultures, Frankie tries to cope with the carnage: binge-drinking, fucking strangers, pushing away her friends. Then, she meets Vanya. Mysterious, beautiful, terrifying Vanya.

The two hit it off immediately, but as their relationship intensifies, so too does Frankie’s feeling that Vanya is hiding something from her. When Vanya’s secrets threaten to tear them apart, Frankie starts digging, and unearths a sinister, depraved conspiracy, the roots of which go deeper than she ever imagined.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Family Meal by Bryan Washington (10th)

Cam is living in Los Angeles and falling apart after the love of his life has died. Kai’s ghost won’t leave Cam alone; his spectral visits wild, tender, unexpected, and explosive. When Cam returns to his hometown of Houston, he crashes back into the orbit of his former best friend, TJ, and TJ’s family bakery. TJ’s not sure how to navigate this changed Cam, impenetrably cool and self-destructing, or their charged estrangement. Can they find a way past all that has been said – and left unsaid – to save each other?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

A Murder of Crows by Dharma Kelleher (10th)

This is the second book in the Avery Byrne, Tattooed Vigilante series

Young tattoo artist Avery Byrne refuses to accept that her friend’s death was an accident. Armed with determination and a thirst for justice, Avery dives into Phoenix, Arizona’s adrenaline-fueled world of street racing and vintage hot rods.

Teaming up with Roz, an unlikely ally who operates a spy shop, they navigate the city’s high-octane underbelly. As they edge closer to uncovering the truth, danger surges around every corner and the body count begins to rise.

Amidst the chaos, Avery finds herself torn grappling with the grief of losing her ex, while being inexplicably drawn to Roz. She must unravel her complicated feelings as she wrestles with her mission, plunging deeper into a world stained with blood and burnt rubber.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

A Light Most Hateful by Hailey Piper (10th)

Three years after running away from home, Olivia is stuck with a dead-end job in nowhere town Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania. At least she has her best friend, Sunflower.

Olivia figures she’ll die in Chapel Hill, if not from boredom, then the summer night storm which crashes into town with a mind-bending monster in tow.

If Olivia’s going to escape Chapel Hill and someday reconcile with her parents, she’ll need to dodge residents enslaved by the storm’s otherworldly powers and find Sunflower.

But as the night strains friendships and reality itself, Olivia suspects the storm, and its monster, may have its eyes on Sunflower and everything she loves.

Including Olivia.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Love at 350° by Lisa Peers (10th)

Tori Moore, a popular high-school chemistry teacher, an avid home baker, and a soon-to-be empty nester, auditions for the American Bake-o-Rama TV competition at the urging of her twin teenagers. If she somehow makes it all the way, the prize money could allow her to finally open her own bakery. But still reeling from her divorce and being naturally risk-averse, it’s not just money that’s standing between Tori and her dreams.

Once on the set in Sonoma wine country, Tori catches the eye of Kendra Campbell, the notoriously ruthless celebrity chef and Bake-o-Rama judge. Kendra is desperate to save her restaurant and expand her Chippy Chunk cookie empire. The show is her ticket to financial security, but she’s been told to soften her approach to appease viewers seeking feel-good entertainment. After years spent fighting for space in a male-dominated industry, Kendra finds it challenging—yet surprisingly rewarding—to make the shift from harsh critique to encouragement.

Tori is drawn to the uncompromising way Kendra moves through the world and senses a tenderness beneath her tough exterior. She and Kendra find it increasingly hard to keep their distance amid six weeks of cooking challenges and kitchen disasters. For both of them, the best prize of all might just be love.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Greasepaint by Hannah Levene (10th)

Set against a backdrop of 1950s New York, this experimental novel follows an ensemble cast of all-singing, all-dancing butch dykes and Yiddish anarchists through eternal Friday nights, around the table, and at the bar. 

In one of many bars, Frankie Gold sings while Sammy Silver plays piano after a day job at the anarchist newspaper. The Butch Piano Players Union meets in the corner next to the jukebox. Laur smokes on the back steps, sweaty thigh to thigh with Vic. Frankie’s childhood sweetheart, Lily, turns up at yet another bar to see a second Sammy play every Friday night. And before all that, there’s always dinner at Marg’s. Fabulated out of oral histories, anthologies, as well as the fiction of the butch-femme bar scene and Yiddish anarchist tradition, Greasepaint is a rollicking whirlwind of music and politics―the currents of community embodied and held inside the bar.

Buy it: Amazon

The Christmas Swap by Talia Samuels (10th)

Margot Murray is a newly single, successful businesswoman with no interest in a cutesy seasonal romance after her breakup with her long-term girlfriend. Ben Gibson is an unlucky-in-love sweetheart in need of a woman to bring home for the holidays. Together, they make a pact: Margot gets two blissful weeks away from London in a picture-perfect manor, and Ben gets a fake girlfriend for his holiday at home with his family.

Upon arriving to the manor, Margot meets Ben’s sister, Ellie, who is suspicious of the supposed relationship right from the start. Ellie intends to get to the bottom of their relationship, not being able to see how the two of them work as a couple. As Ellie and Margot grow closer, will Ben and Margot be able to keep the charade up, or will Margot and Ellie risk the chance at something real?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Mate of Her Own by Elena Abbott (10th)

Heather McKenna has no idea how to be a werewolf. Her wolf might be free from its cursed cage but has shut the door between the two of them, leaving Heather still reeling from the emptiness. When Heather discovers her mother is in the hospital, she is certain that closure from the person who cursed her in the first place will settle her wolf’s grudge and is quick to pack a bag.

V Raines sees the problems with werewolf society all around them. Despite being a nonbinary outcast in their own pack, they still have the responsibilities of being the Alpha’s only child. When their father attempts to pair them off with a dominant male pack member, V is all but ready to abandon their pack.

When V is called to the hospital to take care of a possible rogue shifter, they aren’t ready for the consequences of finding their true mate in Heather. V’s all in as Heather worries she’s not wolf enough to stand between V’s intense pack and her true mate. Fate just made their lives a lot more difficult.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Mistletoe and Mishigas by M.A. Wardell (10th)

Beauty and the Bear: Can these opposites fake their way into something real?

Sheldon Soleskin should be having a horrible day. Even though he’s been unexpectedly transferred to a new school right before the holidays, has only one day to set up his new classroom, and just discovered his twin sister’s been hiding an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s Christmas Eve wedding, he’s still ready to take on the world with a smile on his face and a skip in his step.

Theo Berenson just wants to be left alone to his custodial duties. But when the chipper new first-grade teacher needs help moving furniture the Sunday after Thanksgiving, he’s forced to do something he detests. Help. To make matters worse, Theo’s overbearing parents are coming for Hanukah in a few weeks, and he’s told them he has a boyfriend. Except he doesn’t. Because who would want to date an oaf like Theo?

Working together, these opposites discover they might be able to help each other out. Agreeing to be each other’s dates, they become friends as they practice for their upcoming events. But when all the rehearsing starts feeling a little too real, and both men’s pasts come roaring back to haunt them, will they be able to pull off the ultimate holiday masquerade?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon

Elle Campbell Wins Their Weekend by Ben Kahn (17th)

All Elle Campbell wants to do is meet their hero, non-binary icon Nuri Grena. Well, okay, they’d like a bit more than that — they’d like to learn how to do cat eye makeup, for queen bee Casey to stop critiquing their outfits, and for the finale of Elle’s favorite show to have been less terrible. But meeting Nuri means the most of all.

So when Elle learns that Nuri is coming to town for book signing on Saturday, Elle is thrilled. It’s the perfect chance to meet their hero! Elle’s never been happier since they came out as non-binary, but they have a lot of questions — questions only Nuri can answer.

But Elle’s dreams are dashed when an altercation with a surly substitute teacher lands Elle in Saturday detention. Elle is ready to give up until their two best friends come up with a plan to bust them out of school. A plan so outrageous, it just might work.

Yet that’s just step one. The kids also have to make their way across town with no money, no phones… and no driver’s licenses. But they refuse to give up — even if that means “borrowing” scooters from elementary school loan sharks, or winning a laser tag tournament with a cash prize.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

All That Consumes Us by Erica Waters (17th)

Magni animi numquam moriuntur. Great minds never die. 

The students in Corbin College’s elite academic society, Magni Viri, have it all—free tuition, inspirational professors, and dream jobs once they graduate. When first-gen college student Tara is offered a chance to enroll, she doesn’t hesitate.

Except once she’s settled into the gorgeous Victorian dormitory, something strange starts to happen. She’s finally writing, but her stories are dark and twisted. Her dreams feel as if they could bury her alive. An unseen presence seems to stalk her through the halls.

And a chilling secret awaits Tara at the heart of Magni Viri—one that just might turn her nightmares into reality; one that might destroy her before she has a chance to escape.

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If You’ll Have Me by Eunnie (17th)

Momo Gardner is the kind of friend who’s always ready to lend a helping hand. She’s introverted, sensitive, and maybe a little too trusting, but she likes to believe the best in people. PG, on the other hand, is a bit of a lone wolf, despite her reputation for being a flirt and a player. Underneath all that cool mystery, she’s actually quick to smile, and when she falls for someone, she falls hard. An unexpected meet-cute brings the two together, kicking off the beginning of an awkward yet endearing courtship—but with their drastically different personalities, Momo’s overprotective friend, and PG’s past coming back to haunt her, Momo and PG’s romance is put to the test.

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Lillah Lawson and Lauren Emily Whalen (17th)

Tomorrow and Tomorrow - Lawson, LillahNew Beginnings and Unbreakable Bonds

When Duff O’Brien moves to Hiawassee, Georgia to escape her traumatic past, she finds solace in her friendship with the ambitious and fierce Marian “Mac” Shepherd. Together with the enigmatic Quincy Banks, they form The Scottish Play, North Georgia’s hardest-rocking all-female band.

Rising Stars and Shrouded Secrets

Five years later, the band is living their dream in Athens, Georgia, playing gigs and enjoying their newfound fame. When the captivating Lawrence MacLaren enters their lives, love blossoms between him and Mac, and he envisions even greater success for the band. But when tragedy strikes, and two of their closest allies die under mysterious circumstances, Duff and bandmate Ross begin to suspect that Mac and Lawrence may be involved.

A Journey to Unveil the Truth

As The Scottish Play embarks on a trip to Scotland’s historic Glamis Castle for the performance of a lifetime, Duff must confront the prophecies of The Hecks, a trio of bewitching witches from her past–one of whom she is now dating. With danger lurking around every corner, she questions if she ever truly knew her best friend Mac and wonders if she could be the next target.

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10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall (17th)

Sam Becker loves―or, okay, likes―his job. Sure, managing a bed and bath retailer isn’t exactly glamorous, but it’s good work and he gets on well with the band of misfits who keep the store running. He could see himself being content here for the long haul. Too bad, then, that the owner is an infuriating git.

Jonathan Forest should never have hired Sam. It was a sentimental decision, and Jonathan didn’t get where he is by following his heart. Determined to set things right, Jonathan orders Sam down to London for a difficult talk…only for a panicking Sam to trip, bump his head, and maybe accidentally imply he doesn’t remember anything?

Faking amnesia seemed like a good idea when Sam was afraid he was getting sacked, but now he has to deal with the reality of Jonathan’s guilt―as well as the unsettling fact that his surly boss might have a softer side to him. There’s an unexpected freedom in getting a second shot at a first impression…but as Sam and Jonathan grow closer, can Sam really bring himself to tell the truth, or will their future be built entirely on one impulsive lie?

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Let the Dead Bury the Dead by Allison Epstein (17th)

Saint Petersburg, 1812. Russian forces have defeated Napoleon at great cost, and the Tsar’s empire is once again at peace. Sasha, a captain in the imperial army, returns home to Grand Duke Felix, the disgraced second son of the Tsar and his irrepressibly charming lover, but their reunion is quickly interrupted. Everything changes with the arrival of Sofia, a mysteriously persuasive figure whose disruptive presence Sasha suspects to be something more than human. Felix, insisting that Sasha’s old-fashioned superstitions are misplaced, takes Sofia into his confidence–a connection that quickly becomes both personal and political. On her incendiary advice, Felix confronts his father about the brutal conditions of the common people in the aftermath of the war, to disastrous results, separating him from Sasha and setting him on a collision course with a vocal group of dissidents: the Koalitsiya.

Meanwhile, the Koalitsiya plan to gridlock Saint Petersburg with a city-wide strike in hopes of awakening the upper classes to the grim realities of the laboring people’s circumstances. Marya, a resourceful sometime-thief and trusted lieutenant of the Koalitsiya, also falls under Sofia’s spell, and allied with Felix and her fellow revolutionaries, finds herself in the middle of a battle she could never have predicted. As Sofia’s influence grows and rising tensions threaten the Tsar’s peace, Sasha, Felix, and Marya are forced to choose between the ideals they hold close and the people they love.

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It’s a Fabulous Life by Kelly Farmer (17th)

After years of putting aside her dreams of travel and adventure, Bailey George is ready to leave Lanford Falls and her responsibilities behind on a long-awaited vacation to New York City. But when the volunteer who took over her leadership position for the town’s Winter Wonderfest has a medical emergency, Bailey finds herself stuck in Lanford Falls. She gets roped into reassuming her old role, not wanting to let the town or her friends and family down.

Staying home seems slightly less terrible when Bailey runs into her high school crush, Maria Hatcher. A kiss they shared years ago in the town’s mistletoe grove was a life-defining moment for them both. Maria quickly offers to pitch in and help with Winter Wonderfest. Her sunny disposition and holiday cheer perk up Bailey’s grinchy feelings about everything.

However, one disaster after another snowball on the day of the festival. Bailey’s frustration boils over, and she ends up on the town’s old wooden bridge. There, she meets fabulous drag queen Clara Angel. Bailey declares that she wishes she hadn’t been born in this Christmas-obsessed, suffocating small town. With a little of the magic Clara possesses, she shows Bailey how wrong she is about Lanford Falls and her place in it. And that with a little hope and some true holiday spirit, there is a way to attain all her dreams.

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The Goth House Experiment by SJ Sindu (17th)

In “Dark Academia and the Lesbian Masterdoc,” a millennial English professor finds viral fame on TikTok, but her newfound notoriety could wreck her already unstable life. In “Patriots’ Day,” a man having an affair finds himself caught up in larger currents of anti-Asian violence. Throughout the collection, an array of loners and artists—a young poet haunted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde, a home brewer and wife during lockdown, a boy with wings—struggle for connection and fulfillment in a world battered by the pandemic and reactionary politics. A daring writer with limitless range, SJ Sindu can depict shocking cruelty as readily as small moments of queer joy.

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These Burning Stars by Bethany Jacobs (17th)

Jun Ironway—hacker, con artist, and occasional thief—has gotten her hands on a piece of contraband that could set her up for life: proof that implicates the powerful Nightfoot family in a planet-wide genocide seventy-five years ago. The Nightfoots control the precious sevite that fuels interplanetary travel through three star systems. And someone is sure to pay handsomely for anything that could break their hold.

Of course, anything valuable is also dangerous. The Kindom, the ruling power of the star systems, is inextricably tied up in the Nightfoots’ monopoly—and they can’t afford to let Jun expose the truth. They task two of their most brutal clerics with hunting her down: preternaturally stoic Chono, and brilliant hothead Esek, who also happens to be the heir to the Nightfoot empire.

But Chono and Esek are haunted in turn by a figure from their shared past, known only as Six. What Six truly wants is anyone’s guess. And the closer they get to finding Jun, the surer Chono is that Six is manipulating them all.

​It’s a game that could destroy their lives and devastate the stars. And they have no choice but to see it through to the end.

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Mudflowers by Aley Waterman (17th)

It’s the west end of Toronto, the apartments are small, and everybody is twenty-seven and making some kind of art. In the wake of her mother’s death, Sophie pays rent by making stained glass mosaics for rich people and plays house with her childhood friend and sometimes-lover, the beautiful boy Alex. Both are from Newfoundland but move easily in this world of crowded patios and DIY movie shoots.

When Sophie meets the glamorous poet Maggie, who is the downtown product of a hundred cool queer bars, she falls into a bewildered infatuation, but secrets emerge that threaten to crumble the foundation of her relationship with Alex and Maggie both.

Moving from bohemian Toronto to an arts colony in a castle in France and then back to Newfoundland, Mudflowers examines the impact of family that one is born into and family one chooses, exploring new and unconventional intimacies.

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Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant by Curtis Chin (17th)

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese RestaurantWelcome to Chung’s. For here or to go?

Nineteen eighties Detroit was a volatile place to live, but above the fray stood a safe haven: Chung’s Cantonese Cuisine, where anyone—from the city’s first Black mayor to the local drag queens, from a big-time Hollywood star to elderly Jewish couples—could sit down for a warm, home-cooked meal. Here was where, beneath a bright-red awning and surrounded by his multigenerational family, filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin came of age; where he learned to embrace his identity as a gay ABC, or American-born Chinese; where he navigated the divided city’s spiraling misfortunes; and where—between helpings of almond boneless chicken, sweet-and-sour pork, and some of his own, less-savory culinary concoctions—he realized just how much he had to offer to the world, to his beloved family, and to himself.

Served up by the cofounder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and structured around the very menu that graced the tables of Chung’s, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is both a memoir and an invitation: to step inside one boy’s childhood oasis, scoot into a vinyl booth, and grow up with him—and perhaps even share something off the secret menu.

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Fire From the Sky by Moa Backe Åstot, trans. by Eva Apelqvist (24th)

Ánte’s life has been steeped in Sami tradition. It is indisputable to him that he, an only child, will keep working with the reindeer. But there is something else too, something tugging at him. His feelings for his best friend Erik have changed, grown into something bigger. What would people say if they knew? And how does Erik feel? And Erik’s voice just the push of a button away. Ánte couldn’t answer, could he? But how could he ignore it? Fire From the Sky is a sharp and intelligent story about heritage, family ties and age-old commitments to the past. But also about expectations, compassion, feelings that course through your body like electricity.

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Here Lies Olive by Kate Anderson (24th)

Growing up in the dark tourism capital of the United States, sixteen-year-old Olive should be comfortable with death. But ever since an allergic reaction almost sent her to the wrong side of the grass, she’s been terrified that there is no afterlife. And after the death of her surrogate grandmother, Olive has kept everyone at arm’s length because if there’s Nothing after we die, relationships and love can only end in sorrow.

When she summons a spirit to answer her questions about death, Olive meets Jay, a hitchhiking ghost trapped in the woods behind the poorhouse where he died. Olive agrees to help Jay find his unmarked grave in exchange for answers about the other side and what comes next.

Meanwhile, someone―or something―is targeting Olive’s classmates, and the longer Jay lingers, the more serious the attacks become. Blaming herself for having brought Jay back, Olive teams up with maybe-nemesis, maybe-crush Maren, ex-best friend Davis, and new girl Vanessa to free Jay’s spirit before he’s trapped as a malevolent shade and the attacks turn deadly. But in doing so, Olive must face her fear of death and risk losing another person she loves to the Nothing.

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Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date by Ashley Herring Blake (24th)

Iris Kelly Doesn't Date by [Ashley Herring Blake]Everyone around Iris Kelly is in love. Her best friends are all coupled up, her siblings have partners that are perfect for them, and her parents are still blissfully married. And she’s happy for all of them, truly. Iris doesn’t want any of that—dating, love, romance. She’ll stick to her commitment-free hookups, thanks very much, except no one in her life will just let her be. Everyone wants to see her settled down, but she holds firmly to her no dating rule. There’s only one problem—Iris is a romance author facing an imminent deadline for her second book, and she’s completely out of ideas.

Perfectly happy to ignore her problems as per usual, Iris goes to a bar in Portland and meets a sexy stranger, Stefania, and a night of dancing and making out turns into the worst one-night stand Iris has had in her life. To get her mind off everything, Iris tries out for the lead role in a local play, a queer retelling of Much Ado About Nothing, but comes face-to-face with Stefania, whose real name turns out to be Stevie. Desperate to save face in front of her friends, Stevie asks Iris to play along as her girlfriend. Iris is shocked, but when she realizes the arrangement might provide her with some much-needed romantic content for her book, she agrees. As the two women play the part of a happy couple, lines start to blur, and they’re left wondering who will make the real first move….

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Tempted by the Bollywood Star by Sophia Singh Sasson (24th)

Tempted by the Bollywood Star: A Passionate F/F Opposites Attract Romance by [Sophia Singh Sasson]She once turned her back on love…

Now she’s risking everything for a second chance.

During one perfect holiday, Bollywood star Saira Sethi fell hard for producer Mia Strome. Ending their fling to protect her public image is her biggest regret. Now, years later, she’s in Hollywood and Mia is a producer on Saira’s new show!

Mia never forgot their intense connection—nor her heartbreak when Saira walked away. Their chemistry still sizzles, but lingering frustrations cause clashes that threaten the show…and their future.

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On the Same Page by Haley Cass (24th)

Riley Beckett met Gianna Mäkinen – drop-dead gorgeous influencer, trilingual, daughter of world-famous models, yes, that Gianna Mäkinen – their first year at Boston University, and it changed everything for the both of them. After all, when you find the person who just gets you, nothing feels quite “the same” right?

And in the ten years since, Riley has come to depend on Gianna more than anyone else in her life. She knows Gianna just as well as she knows herself – maybe better, some days. She knows Gianna is incredibly sex-positive, she knows Gianna doesn’t do romance or relationships, and she knows nothing could ever come between them.

This is what makes sense to her, all of this is status-quo. But when a holiday party mix-up sets in motion a domino effect of changes to these previously inalienable truths, Riley has to question everything she thought she knew about their relationship. What, exactly, does Gianna mean to her after all?

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Secret Heir for Christmas by LaQuette (24th)

This holiday, will the man next door tempt him with a second chance?

Actor Carter Jiménez lived a glamorous life until he lost his wife to the dark side of fame. Now he’ll protect his young daughter by avoiding celebrity at all costs. Then his seemingly understated neighbor, Stephan Devereaux-Smith, tempts his still-wounded heart. Is this Carter’s second chance at love?

But Stephan isn’t an average man caring for a sick relative. He’s part of a billionaire family and the ritzy world Carter left behind. Torn between new love and old demons, can Carter trust Stephan with his family—and his heart?

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A Season of Monstrous Conceptions by Lina Rather (31st)

In 17th-century London, unnatural babies are being born, with eyes made for the dark and webbed digits suited to the sea.

Sarah Davis is intimately familiar with such strangeness—having hidden her uncanny nature all her life and fled to London under suspicious circumstances, Sarah starts over as a midwife’s apprentice to a member of the illegal Worshipful Company of Midwives, hoping to carve out for herself an independent life. But with each new unnatural birth, the fear in London grows of the Devil’s work.

When the wealthy Lady Wren hires her to see her through her pregnancy, Sarah quickly becomes a favorite of her husband, the famous architect Lord Christopher Wren, whose interest in the uncanny borders on obsession. Sarah soon finds herself caught in a web of magic and intrigue created by those who want to use her power for themselves, and whose pursuits threaten to unmake the earth itself.

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A Dish Best Served Hot by Natalie Caña (31st)

Santiago “Saint” Vega gets a second shot at love with Lola León, but when duty to his family forces him to do something she’ll never forgive, will everything he’s built come crumbling down?  

Years ago, Saint walked away from the girl he loved to fulfill his duty. Now he’s struggling to build bridges between his drifting family, take on more responsibilities at his uncle’s construction company, figure out why his daughter refuses to talk at school and curtail his mischievous abuelo’s escalating pranks. Then she walks back into his life.

Social justice advocate Lola León has returned to Humboldt Park for two reasons: to help care for her dear abuelo and to serve the community center she loved, particularly the shelter for unhoused LGBTQIA+ youths. When she finds out that the Vegas are responsible for endangering both, she is more than ready to go to war—even if the boy she never forgot is standing at the front of the battlefield.

Neither of them expects to become allies in saving the shelter, helping Saint’s daughter or ending the decades-long feud between their grandfathers. They definitely don’t expect all of their old feelings to come rushing back. As Saint and Lola enter combat, they can’t help but wonder where the other’s true allegiance lies, and whether they’ll win these battles only to lose each other.

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September 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Author of the forthcoming SHOOT THE MOON Isa Arsen‘s THE UNBECOMING OF MARGARET WOLF, set in 1956, about two Shakespearean actors in a lavender marriage during one summer that will either bring them closer than ever or rip them apart for good, again to Kate Dresser at Putnam, by Chris Bucci at Aevitas Creative Management (world).

Creative Writing PhD and former bookseller Gianni Washington‘s FLOWERS FROM THE VOID, a short story collection that brings a fresh perspective to literary horror not only by using the lens of Black, female and sometimes queer narrators and communities, but also by raising questions about the sources of all our fears and nightmares, to Christoph Paul at Clash, for publication in May 2024, by Penelope Burns at Gelfman Schneider on behalf of Charlotte Colwill at Colwill and Peddle (NA).

Akutagawa Prize finalist Jose Ando‘s JACKSON ALONE, translated by Kalau Almony, about four mixed-raced Black Japanese gay men out for revenge when a disturbing pornographic video of one of them is circulated online, pitched as SUCH A FUN AGE meets the films of Jordan Peele, to Nick Whitney in his first acquisition at Soho Crime, in a pre-empt, by Li Kangqin at New River Literary, on behalf of Kohei Hattori at The English Agency and Kawade Shobo Shinsha (world English).

Author of MOSTLY DEAD THINGS and WITH TEETH Kristen Arnett‘s CLOWN, following a down-on-her luck party clown in Orlando, Florida, who connects with a much older lesbian magician, in the hopes that she can finally take her clowning career to the next level, exploring entertainment, ambition, art, and love, to Alison Fairbrother at Riverhead, by Serene Hakim at Ayesha Pande Literary (NA).

Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and author of IMAGINE ME GONE Adam Haslett‘s MOTHERS AND SONS, following the story of a gay immigration lawyer estranged from his mother whose world is upended by an asylum case which forces him to confront a past that both he and his mother have tried to ignore, again to Ben George at Little, Brown, for publication in fall 2024, by Amanda Urban at CAA (NA).

Emily Zipps‘s ALICE RUE EVADES THE TRUTH, pitched as a queer retelling of While You Were Sleeping with the humor and disability representation of Get a Life, Chloe Brown, a debut romcom about found family, little white lies, and falling in love with your fake boyfriend’s sister, to Katy Nishimoto at Dial Press, at auction, by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary (world English).

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize winner and author of SUGAR RUN and PERPETUAL WEST Mesha Maren’s SHAE, about a West Virginia teen navigating her partner’s transition, an unexpected and complex pregnancy, and new motherhood in the shadow of a burgeoning addiction, to Kathy Pories at Algonquin, for publication in May 2024, by Bill Clegg at The Clegg Agency (NA).

Freydis Moon’s THE GIDEON TESTAMENTS, a novella trilogy filled with Brujería, Norse magic, Catholic mysticism, and demonology—when an exorcist stumbles into an unlikely haunting, he gets far more than he bargained for and kick-starts a chain of events that can’t be undone, to Laura Schreiber at Union Square & Co, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2024, by Bethany Weaver at Weaver Literary Agency.

Lambda Literary Award finalist, GLAAD Media Award winner, and author of PATRICIA WANTS TO CUDDLE Samantha Allen’s ROLAND ROGERS ISN’T DEAD YET, about a (recently departed) closeted A-list celebrity and his (living) mid-list ghostwriter, in a story of two men discovering the meaning of life and love after death, to Sareena Kamath at Zando, with Caolinn Douglas editing, by Leila Campoli at Stonesong (world).

Middle Grade Fiction

Jess Callans‘s debut OLLIE IN BETWEEN, a coming-of-age novel following a nonbinary middle schooler as a biological predator (aka: puberty) disrupts their ability to camouflage into the binary world, pushing them to choose between the safety of fleeing from their differences or confronting the risks of fighting to take their own path forward, to Brittany Groves and Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends, for publication in winter 2025, by Beth Phelan at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (world English).

Author of THE STRANGEWORLDS TRAVEL AGENCY series L. D. Lapinski‘s JAMIE, in which a nonbinary child learns to advocate for themselves after they’re told to choose between attending an all-boys or an all-girls middle school, to Jaime Gelman at Little Bee Books, for publication in summer 2024, by Mathilde Pineau at Hachette Children’s Group (NA).

Young Adult Fiction

Stefany Valentine‘s LOVE MAKES MOCHI, in the Love in Translation series of interconnected standalone romances each written by a different author, in which women of color spend a semester studying abroad, finding love, and unexpected adventure; focusing on a queer love story set in Tokyo, between a goth fashion designer and an aspiring Japanese tattoo artist, to Bria RaginNicola Yoon, and David Yoon at Joy Revolution, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, spring 2025, and winter 2026, by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, for Electric Postcard Entertainment (world).

CL Montblanc‘s PRIDE OR DIE, a dark comedy debut in which an anxious lesbian and her chaotic LGBTQ+ club friends become the prime suspects in an attempted murder and must clear their names before the real culprit strikes again, to Sarah Grill at Wednesday Books, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2025, by Natalie Lakosil at Looking Glass Literary & Media (NA).

Brianna R. Shrum and Sara Waxelbaum‘s DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, a Sapphic YA romance following a chaotic but self-assured pianist and military brat, and an uncompromising but uncertain ballerina, who, despite their differences, collaborate for a dance audition and find common ground—and love—along the way, to Claire Stetzer at Harper Children’s with Alice Jerman editing, for publication in winter 2025, by Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency (world).

Author of NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER and PERFECT ON PAPER Sophie Gonzales‘s NOBODY IN PARTICULAR, pitched as Young Royals meets HER ROYAL HIGHNESS in a sapphic romance that follows an American-born girl as she receives a scholarship to board at a prestigious college where she finds herself falling for the crown princess, to Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books, with Lisa Bonvissuto editing, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Mileo at Inkwell Management (world).

Kit Rosewater‘s debut ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND FIELD HOCKEY, in which a girl is a walking memory of her mother’s high school years—she has the perfect boyfriend, plays goalie on her prep school’s field hockey team, and is on track to win nationals; but when another girl crashes into her life, will she step off her winning path and take a chance on something entirely new?, to Alison Romig at Delacorte, in a pre-empt, for publication in summer 2025, by Lauren Spieller at Folio Literary Management (world).

Zakiya N. Jamal‘s IF WE WERE A MOVIE, a debut sapphic rom-com and celebration of Black cinema, about an overachieving high school senior who must work with her easy-going rival to determine who is trying to sabotage the historic Black movie theater they both work at—and try not to fall for her in the process, to Alyson Day at Harper Teen, for publication in winter 2025, by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media on behalf of Electric Postcard Entertainment (NA).

Shelly Page‘s BREWED WITH LOVE, a queer contemporary romantasy debut in which a teen witch, desperate to save her family’s apothecary and reputation after her stolen tonic wipes the memory of a rival, must begrudgingly partner with her first crush-turned-coworker to unmask the thief, to Bria Ragin, Nicola Yoon, and David Yoon at Joy Revolution, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency (world).

Jasmine Smith‘s debut DEATH CARD, a Black and queer contemporary fantasy about a New Orleanian tarot reader and secret witch who is thrown when a pretty tourist’s cards foretell that she will kill her by the end of the next full moon, to Tiara Kittrell at Putnam Children’s, for publication in 2025, by David Purse at Inked Entertainment (NA). The author is represented by Lane Clarke at ArtHouse Literary.

Author of THE ONE TRUE ME AND YOU Remi K. England’s THE RULES AS WRITTEN, a queer romantic comedy in which two nerdy girls in rural Virginia find their characters falling for one another in a D&D game, only to discover those feelings have developed outside of their fantasy realm as well, to Britny Brooks-Perilli at Running Press Kids, for publication in winter 2025, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency (world). Film: Sean Berard at Grandview

Author of MAJOR DETOURS and the forthcoming THIS PACT IS NOT OURS Zachary Sergi’s DON’T LOVE THE PLAYER, LOVE THE GAME, a rom-com adventure in which a group of queer gamers, who know each other from a mythology-inspired online video game, meet up IRL to compete in an augmented-reality tournament where sparks fly as the competition heats up and the team’s two lead players try not to fall in love, to Britny Brooks-Perilli at Running Press Kids, in an exclusive submission, for publication in summer 2025, by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds (world).

Author of FRAGILE REMEDY and THE IMMEASURABLE DEPTH OF YOU Maria Ingrande Mora’s A WILD FLAME RISES, a queer, anti-capitalist fantasy in which a girl with the ability to conduct electricity discovers that the powerful house of industry that raised her is not the benevolent organization they present to be, and teams up with two boys—former lovers—who are standing against the harm the house has caused in the name of progress, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, for publication in fall 2025, by Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management (world).

Non-Fiction

erformer and poet Hannah Silva‘s MY CHILD, THE ALGORITHM, a genre-fluid memoir about queer single motherhood, parenting a toddler, and collaborating with a language-producing algorithm, to Mensah Demary at Soft Skull, for publication in August 2024, by Laetitia Rutherford at Watson Little (NA).

Film aficionado and Jeopardy! contestant Charles Jensen‘s SPLICE OF LIFE, a hybrid memoir exploring what it means to be male and queer, combining the author’s lived experiences with his analyses of the impact of 13 films on his turbulent coming-of-age in rural America, to Andrew Gifford at Santa Fe Writers Project, in a nice deal, for publication in May 2024 (world English).

January 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Hana Lee’s debut MAGEBIKE COURIER, a cross-cultural fantasy pitched as Mad Max: Fury Road with magic and sapphic romance, about a messenger between star-crossed royals who finds herself embroiled in a high-speed chase across the perilous desert wastelands when the princess she works for decides to escape an unwanted betrothal, to Amara Hoshijo at Saga Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Paul Lucas at Janklow & Nesbit (world English).

Author of THE MAGIC BETWEEN Stephanie Hoyt’s PROVE IT, the first in a New Adult romance series pitched as The Mighty Ducks’s queer adventures in the NHL, in which a poorly timed comment during a joint interview leaves the relationship between the first and second overall picks a point of interest long after the draft is over, to Elizabeth Coldwell at NineStar, for publication in spring 2024.

Johanna van Veen‘s MY DARLING DREADFUL THING, a sapphic Gothic novel pitched as THINGS IN JARS meets THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE, about a young woman who has a spirit companion only she can see; but as she’s undeniably drawn to an enigmatic young widow, a gruesome death puts both her innocence and her sanity in question, to Jenna Jankowski at Sourcebooks, in a very nice deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring of 2024, by Kristina Perez at Zeno Agency (world English).

Author of WE ARE WATCHING ELIZA BRIGHT A.E. Osworth‘s AWAKENED, in which a 30-something gay witch wakes up one morning with magic powers and subsequently charms their way through love, loss, drag brunches, and the gig economy while battling an evil AI along with their newly adopted chaotic trans coven, to Seema Mahanian at Grand Central, by Ryan Harbage at Fischer-Harbage Agency (world).

Queer librarian Arden Brax’s debut THE LILY OF ENARAH, a sapphic science fiction novel in which an adopted daughter of the viceroy quickly learns that duty comes before all when she is forced to make an enemy of the girl she loves in order to save her people, to Cate Pearce at Hansen, for publication in May 2024.

Miniaturist and fantasy author Mary Lynne Gibbs’s THE PRINCESS AND THE THIEF, pitched as a sapphic Rapunzel retelling in which a cursed elvish princess escapes her sheltered home to seek the help of the empress and reluctantly enlists a rogue thief to aid in her quest, but fighting, torture, revenge, monsters, chases, escapes, and maybe true love stand in their way, to Cate Pearce at Hansen, for publication in July 2024.

Author of EVERYBODY (ELSE) IS PERFECT Gabrielle Korn’s THE SHUTOUTS, the sequel to the forthcoming YOURS FOR THE TAKING, a queer dystopian novel about the people excluded from a global climate change relief program, their struggle to survive, and their search for truth that reveals an interconnectedness larger than all of them, to Hannah O’Grady at St. Martin’s, by Nicki Richesin at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (world).

New School MFA graduate Alana Saab’s PLEASE STOP TRYING TO LEAVE ME, in which, while god is sending her signs through Instagram and Spotify telling her to break up with her girlfriend, a 27-year-old meets a new therapist for one reason: she really needs to write again, to Ellie Pritchett at Vintage, for publication in summer 2024, by Mina Hamedi at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).

Author of ASK A QUEER CHICK Lindsay King-Miller‘s THE Z WORD, a debut queer horror novel about a zombie outbreak at a small-town Pride festival, in which a scrappy found-family band of queers must confront corporate pinkwashing, political manipulation, and shambling monsters who want to eat them, to Jess Zimmerman at Quirk Books, for publication in spring 2024, by Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (world).

NBCC award finalist, Dylan Thomas Prize, Lambda Literary Award, National Book Award 5 Under 35 recipient, and author of LOT and MEMORIAL Bryan Washington‘s FAMILY MEAL, about two queer best friends who reconnect after an estrangement and a shocking loss, to Laura Perciasepe at Riverhead, by Danielle Bukowski at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Lambda Award-winning author Julia Watts‘s LOVESICK BLOSSOMS, set in 1953, in which two married women struggle to come to terms with their deepening love for each other in a small college town in Kentucky, against a backdrop of racism, sexism, and complete rejection of same-sex liaisons, to Kat Georges at Three Rooms Press, in a nice deal, for publication in October 2023 (world English).

WHY AREN’T YOU SMILING, GUTTER BOYS, and I MARRIED AN EARTHLING, and Lambda Award finalist for the memoir DISASTERAMA Alvin Orloff‘s VULGARIAN RHAPSODY, a tour of San Francisco’s fabled queer bohemia in the waning days of the 20th century, as the city’s budget bon vivants work to save their eccentric lifestyles in the face of tech gentrification, to Peter Carlaftes at Three Rooms Press, in a nice deal, for publication in October 2023 (world English).

Metalsmith and queer horror author Sofia Ajram’s BURY YOUR GAYS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF TRAGIC QUEER HORROR, to Max Booth III at Ghoulish Books, for publication in April 2024 (world English).

Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction

Rainie Oet’s MONSTER SEEK, about two children playing hide-and-seek during a thunderstorm, exploring gender identity, the love between siblings, and the meaning of monstrosity, illustrated by Deb JJ Lee, to Susan Dobinick at Astra Young Readers, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2026, by Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates for the author, and by Edward Maxwell at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates for the illustrator (world).

Author-illustrator of GENDER QUEER Maia Kobabe and Lucky Srikumar’s SAACHI’S STORIES, a coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about an aspiring author who struggles to navigate changing social dynamics and her evolving identity, as her friends start coupling up and everybody else seems to fit neatly into a boy/girl binary, to David Levithan at Graphix, in a good deal, at auction, for publication in spring 2025, by Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency (world).

Melanie Gillman’s RECLUSIVIA, a graphic novel about a nonbinary kid going to an art summer program where things take a turn for the strange and haunted, to Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic, for publication in summer 2025, by Jen Linnan at Linnan Literary Management (world).

Young Adult Fiction

NYT-bestseller Rachael Lippincott’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE & PITTSBURGH, pitched as Freaky Friday meets Bridgerton, about a girl sent back in time who meets an unexpected love interest in the 19th century, to Alexa Pastor at Simon & Schuster Children’s, in a significant deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Emily van Beek at Folio Literary Management (world).

Freddie Kolsch’s debut NOW, CONJURERS, in which the partially devoured body of a high school quarterback is discovered in a local cemetery, and his bereaved boyfriend and close-knit coven of queer misfits are plunged into an occult murder investigation that leads to a wish-granting demon lurking beneath their town, to Laura Schreiber at Union Square Kids, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (NA).

Author of I THINK I LOVE YOU Auriane Desombre’s I LOVE YOU S’MORE, a queer rom-com in which a teen has her heart broken after her high school sweetheart-turned-celebrity cheats on her, and she soon finds herself swept up in a fun and new swoony romance at summer camp with another camp counselor, to Kelsey Horton at Delacorte, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management (world).

Author of MAJOR DETOURS and SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? Zachary Sergi’s THIS PACT IS NOT OURS, a queer YA horror in which four college-bound best friends return to the idyllic campsite their families have visited every summer, only to discover they are cursed by an ancestral pact that threatens to tear their friendships–and the world—apart, pitched as WE WERE LIARS meets Stranger Things, to Joshua Dean Perry at Tiny Ghost Press, for publication in October 2023, by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds (world English).

Debut author Jamie D’Amato‘s THE GOOD VAMPIRE’S GUIDE TO BLOOD AND BOYFRIENDS, a rom-com in which the last thing a boy expects after surviving serious depression is to wake up a vampire; now he has to navigate not only college but bloodthirsty instincts, vampire clans who may not be as “good” as they claim, and feelings for the cute boy who is helping him keep his secret, to Vicki Lame and Vanessa Aguirre at Wednesday Books, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2025, by John Cusick at Folio Jr. (NA).

Non-Fiction

Annenberg Innovation Lab Fellow, writer, oral historian, and founder and director of Country Queers Rae Garringer’s COUNTRY QUEERS: THE STORY OF A DIY RURAL QUEER ORAL HISTORY PROJECT, part memoir of a project, part activation of a trove of over 90 oral histories, part collection of photographs of rural queer people, places, and ephemera made/found along the way, revealing the joys, challenges, and nuances of rural queer life, to Katy O’Donnell at Haymarket, with Dao Tran editing (world).

LGBTQ+ advocate and former professional hockey player Harrison Browne and investigative journalist Rachel Browne‘s LET THEM PLAY, centering trans and nonbinary voices to debunk myths around the increasingly volatile debate about the participation of gender-diverse athletes while advocating for the inclusion of trans athletes across all levels of sport, to Joanna Green at Beacon Press, by Carly Watters at P.S. Literary Agency (NA).

Author of the Pacific Northwest Book Award winner and an NPR Best Book of the Year RED PAINT Sasha LaPointe‘s THUNDER SONG, a meditation on what it means to be a proudly queer, indigenous woman in America today, suffused with the power of community and music to heal and inspire and drawing connections between the personal and the communal, the spiritual and the physical, the mundane and the miraculous, again to Harry Kirchner at Counterpoint, for publication in spring 2024, by Duvall Osteen at Aragi Inc. (NA).

Managing editor at The Experiment Zachary Pace‘s I SING TO USE THE WAITING, an inquiry into the nature of the queer voice through the lens of female singers—such as Cat Power, Rihanna, and Whitney Houston—who have informed the author’s identity, to Eric Obenauf at Two Dollar Radio, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2024 (world).

Santiago-based travel writer Mark Johanson‘s MARS ON EARTH, about a gay expat searching the otherworldly Atacama Desert of northern Chile for a deeper understanding of the forces that have shaped both his relationship to his partner and to his adoptive homeland, to Don Gorman at Rocky Mountain Books, for publication in fall 2024, by Max Sinsheimer at Sinsheimer Literary (world English).

Clinical psychologist and therapist Dr. Jonathan Mathias Lassiter‘s HOW I KNOW WHITE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, a memoir of growing up poor, gay, and Black, navigating the systemically racist field of psychology, sharing lessons about how anti-Blackness harms mental health and the connection between mental and political liberation, to Alison Dalafave at Hachette Go, at auction, for publication in February 2025, by Cecilia Lyra at P.S. Literary Agency (world).

Whiting Award winner and winner of the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction for 100 BOYFRIENDS Brontez Purnell’s TEN BRIDGES I’VE BURNT, a memoir in verse, tracing Purnell’s life from Alabama to Oakland and everywhere in between; and an untitled novel, about a family of feuding Black psychics living in 1970s Alabama, again to Jackson Howard at MCD/FSG, in a two-book deal, by Julia Masnik at Watkins Loomis (world).

Exclusive Cover Reveal: So You Wanna Be a Pop Star? by Zachary Sergi

I’m delighted to welcome Zachary Sergi back to the site today to reveal the cover of another exciting choose-your-own-adventure contemporary YA, So You Wanna Be  a Pop Star?, which releases March 7, 2023 from Running Press Kids! Here’s the story:

Five solo pop artists. One chance to make it big.

Everly Brooks knows she has what it takes to be the next big singer-songwriter. At least, that’s if she could get her onstage presence to stop feeling so wooden and blossom like her rich, moving lyrics. The reality signing competition, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is her chance at proving to the world—and herself—that her talent and artistry can mean something more than just live streams and online videos.

Vinny Vecchi thought he was heading toward a life full of makeup, wigs, and werking it on the drag stages of NYC. But a powerful diva voice is a precious thing to waste and, in need of money to make his drag dreams come true, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is the next best thing. However, surrounded by competitors with clear brands and sharpened musical identities, he wonders if he can break through while still discovering himself.

When a group performance on the show goes viral overnight, Everly and Vinny find their careers unexpectedly tied together. Along with their competitors—influencer Dea Seo, pop-punk CeCe Winnifred, and heartthrob Stern Green—these five artists are forced to become the newest pop super group: Jeweltones. You, the reader, get to make choices that will make or break Everly, Vinny, and the group’s meteoric rise in this interactive novel. Will you mend the cracks to help Jeweltones shine bright, or will they burn out under pressure?

And here’s the glorious cover, sure to render you starstruck, designed by Frances Soo Ping Chow with art by Jeff Östberg!

Preorder: Amazon | IndieBound | RP Kids

Zachary Sergi is a queer author of Interactive Fiction, including the print debut Major Detours and the digital Heroes Rise, Versus, and Fortune The Fated series. Zachary was raised in Manhattan, studied Creative Writing at Regis High School and the University of Pennsylvania, and now lives in Los Angeles with his husband, where he also writes for television. Learn more at zacharysergi.com or by following @zacharysergi on Twitter/TikTok or @zacharysergiwriter on Instagram.

October 2021 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Psychotherapist K. L. Cerra’s‘s SUCH PRETTY FLOWERS, a Southern gothic suspense with horror and queer elements about a woman’s investigation into her brother’s unlikely suicide—his last words being “get it out of me”—and subsequently, her obsession with his fiancee, a magnetic, black-eyed florist with a penchant for carnivorous plants; and a second book about a coven operating under the guise of the wedding industry whose plans to save women from wife- and motherhood have sinister implications, to Jenny Chen at Bantam Dell, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Chelsey Emmelhainz at Copps Literary Services (world).

Taleen Voskuni‘s SORRY, BRO, a queer rom-com about a twenty-something newly single Armenian woman whose mother insists she find a proper new suitor at a series of local Armenian cultural events—only the woman she meets is the last person her very traditional family had in mind, to Cindy Hwang and Angela Kim at Berkley, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2023, by Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (NA).

Lena May‘s THE SIGNS WE MISSED, in which a young gay man who emancipated from his mother battles addiction, an eating disorder, and being in love with his best while trying to graduate high school and survive, to Kisstopher Musick at Cinnabar Moth, in a nice deal, for publication in summer 2022.

Lindy Ryan and Toni Miller‘s eds.’s UNDER HER SKIN, a showcase of body horror-inspired poetry from women (cis and trans) and nonbinary femmes in horror, including Bram Stoker Award-winning and nominated poets Lee Murray, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Sara Tantlinger, and Jessica McHugh, with a foreword by Linda D. Addison, to Black Spot, for publication in April 2022 (world English).

Kate Brook’s NOT EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND, following four 20-somethings—two roommates navigating the awkward aftermath of a one night stand, and a lesbian couple looking to start a family—as their lives collide and all four learn that sometimes you find family, and love, in the place you would least expect, pitched as for readers of Emma Straub or J. Courtney Sullivan, to Lindsey Rose at Dutton, by Rebecca Wearmouth at PFD (NA). Rights to Sarah Hodgson at Corvus, by Philippa Sitters at David Godwin Associates (UK/Commonwealth, excl. Canada); to Suma de Letras (Spain); and to Diana (Germany), at auction, by Rebecca Wearmouth at PFD.

Author of the forthcoming MY MECHANICAL ROMANCE Alexene Farol Follmuth writing as Olivie Blake’s THE ATLAS SIX TRILOGY, pitched as Kingsman/X-Men meets THE SECRET HISTORY with a diverse cast and strong queer representation, following six uniquely talented magicians from around the world who are invited to compete for an elite academic fellowship where elimination holds deadly consequences, the first book of which was previously self-published and popular on TikTok, to Molly McGhee at Tor, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, for publication in March 2022, by Amelia Appel at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).

Winner of the 2018 VQR Emily Clark Balch Prize for Fiction and UT Austin MFA Celia Bell’s THE DISENCHANTMENT, which follows a baroness who falls in love with another woman, and the chaos that ensues when her husband discovers their secret, set against the backdrop of Versailles and Parisian society, to Shelley Wanger at Pantheon, for publication in 2023, by Anna Stein at ICM (NA). Rights to Serpent’s Tail (UK), by Lucy Morris and Sabhbh Curry at Curtis Brown UK.

Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction

Vicki Johnson‘s picture book MOLLY’S TUXEDO, about a girl who has big plans to wear a dashing tuxedo for her school picture day, but her mom has picked out a dress, so with her friends’ support, the girl proves the way to look your best is to be yourself, illustrated by Gillian Reid, to Charlie Ilgunas at Little Bee Books, for publication in summer 2023, by Zoe Sandler at ICM for the author, and by Christy Tugeau Ewers at The CAT Agency for the illustrator (world).

Aliza Layne‘s BEETLE AND THE CHIMERA CARNIVAL, a sequel to the Stonewall Honor Book BEETLE AND THE HOLLOWBONES, which follows Beetle and her friends as they face new and sinister complications when the dragons set to arrive for a community celebration never appear, illustrated by Aliza Layne, to Julia McCarthy at Atheneum, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024 and fall 2025, by Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management (world English).

Author-illustrator Kyla Smith‘s FOXES, FIRE, & OTHER MAGIC, in which a curious young fox spirit who stumbled into the human world during the annual Obon festival and became trapped, and a nonbinary noodle maker struggling to keep their parents’ legacy alive, must learn to trust each other to save the udon shop and get the fox spirit home before the spirit gate closes for good, to Emily Settle and Erin Siu at Feiwel and Friends, in a very nice deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency (world).

Coauthor of RENEGADE RULE Ben Kahn‘s ELLE CAMPBELL SAVES THEIR SATURDAY, in which a nonbinary seventh grader wants to meet their celebrity hero at a local signing, so they and their two best friends will have to stage a daring escape from weekend detention, and avoid bullies and parents as they trek across town to save their Saturday, to Mallory Kass at Scholastic, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2023, by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds (world).

Dresden Douglas’s GIRLS GIVE ME BUTTERFLIES, a debut middle grade graphic novel pitched as a sapphic Lizzie McGuire, about a young girl who begins to feel flustered and tongue-tied around other girls while struggling to tune out the voice of an excitable little figment who manifests all her innermost thoughts, to Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook Press, at auction, for publication in 2023, by Claire Draper at The Bent Agency (world).

Young Adult

Mela Rogers‘s debut LOVE LIGHT, set in a world where a beacon of light connects each person’s heart to their soulmate’s; a girl’s parents are light fanatics, so she is shocked when she falls for a girl who is not her soulmate, and when she meets her actual soulmate, she must choose between her faith and her first love, to Dana Chidiac at Holt Children’s, for publication in winter 2025, by Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary Agency (world).

HERE FOR IT author R. Eric Thomas‘s debut KINGS OF B’MORE, a celebration of queer Black friendship as two boys plan a day of fun and facing their fears, pitched as inspired by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to Joanna Cardenas at Kokila, for publication in summer 2022, by Anna Sproul-Latimer at Neon Literary (world).

Freja Nicole Woolf’s NEVER TRUST A GEMINI, pitched as a LGBTQ+ ANGUS, THONGS AND FULL-FRONTAL SNOGGING, in which a zodiac-obsessed 15-year-old struggling with a desperate crush on her best friend must scramble through a fake boyfriend, a house fire, and an unexpected Christmas romance to find her happy ending, to Denise Johnstone-Burt and Non Pratt at Walker UK, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023, by Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency (world).

NYT-bestselling author of CEMETERY BOYS Aiden Thomas‘s JUST MAX, in which a stealth transgender college student faces the usual stress of freshman year—making new friends and trying to fit in—all while managing testosterone shots, navigating the perils of communal bathrooms, and falling in love with the handsome soccer player down the hall, to Holly West at Feiwel and Friends, in a good deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in winter 2024, by Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

MAJOR DETOURS author Zachary Sergi‘s SO YOU WANNA BE A POPSTAR?, an interactive novel following five diverse and queer teen solo artists who are forced into a pop group that goes viral overnight, and where the reader chooses the paths forward to guide the characters on their journey to stardom, to Britny Brooks at Running Press Kids, for publication in winter 2023, by Lucy Carson at Friedrich Agency (world).

FULL DISCLOSURE author Camryn Garrett’s FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE, about a queer teen determined to throw a lavish coming out party in place of a sweet sixteen, but when her mother is laid off, she’s forced to balance saving for the party with keeping her household afloat, all the while navigating her growing feelings for a new girl at school, to Katherine Harrison at Knopf Children’s, in a six-figure deal, for publication in spring 2023, by Beth Phelan at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (NA). Rights also to Emma Jones at Random House UK Children’s, by Ellen Greenberg, on behalf of Beth Phelan.

K.M. Watts’s BORN ANDROMEDA, a debut in which a moon princess is kidnapped by galactic pirates, and joins the world of piracy in order to get home—if she doesn’t fall for one first, to Annie Harper at Duet, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2022 (world). Rights: Mary Jo Courchesne at Gryphon Publishing Consulting

Nonfiction

WHAT ARE YOUR WORDS? illustrator Andy Passchier‘s GENDER IDENTITY FOR KIDS, a chapter book guide breaking down what gender is and isn’t, what your feelings around gender might mean, and how to let the world know who you are and help others do the same, to Regan Winter at Little, Brown Children’s, with Andrea Colvin and Aria Balraj editing, for publication in summer 2023, by Alexandra Gehringer at The Bright Group (world).

Chicana writer, activist, poet, essayist, and playwright Cherrie Moraga‘s LOVING IN THE WAR YEARS and THE LAST GENERATION, combined in a single 40th anniversary volume; and WAITING IN THE WINGS: PORTRAIT OF A QUEER MOTHERHOOD, to be published on its 25th anniversary, both with new forewords by the author, to Julie Fain at Haymarket, in a two-book deal, by Stuart Bernstein at Stuart Bernstein Representation.

Olympic champion and elite runner Caster Semenya’s SILENCE ALL THE NOISE, a story of courage, resilience, and hope about her childhood in rural South Africa, her running career, and her experience as an intersex woman in professional sports, to Norton, at auction, with a young readers edition.

New Releases: September 7, 2021

Today’s post is sponsored in honor of the paperback release of His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined, ed. by Dahlia Adler (Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound). Thirteen authors take on The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven, and more, including queer spins on Ligeia, The Purloined Letter, Annabel Lee, Hop-Frog, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Murders at the Rue Morgue, in a collection the New York Times Book Review says “brims over with fierce delight and uncanny invention.”

Picture Book

Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster by Manka Kasha

The worry kept growing day by day, until… one morning Small Knight woke up to see a huge inky black monster in their room.

When Small Knight feels pressure from their parents to be a perfect princess, an anxiety monster shows up. No one else can see the monster, so Small Knight and their best friend Tiny Bear, decide that it is up to them to save themselves. They set off on a magical quest, only to discover that the answer was inside themselves all along. Turning to face the Anxiety Monster, they learn how to keep it under control.

Buy It: Bookshop | Amazon | Indiebound

Middle Grade

Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar

Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it’s time for Obie to find where he truly belongs.

As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can’t get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water—to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Touch of Ruckus by Ash Van Otterloo

Tennessee Lancaster has a hidden gift.

She can pry into folks’ memories with just a touch of their belongings. It’s something she’s always kept hidden — especially from her big, chaotic family. Their lives are already chock-full of worries about Daddy’s job and Mama’s blues without Tennie rocking the boat.

But when the Lancasters move to the mountains for a fresh start, Tennie’s gift does something new. Instead of just memories, her touch releases a ghost with a terrifying message: Trouble is coming. Tennie wants to ignore it. Except her new friend Fox — scratch that, her only friend, Fox — is desperate to go ghost hunting deep in the forest. And when Tennie frees even more of the spirits, trouble is exactly what she gets… and it hits close to home. The ghosts will be heard, and now Tennie must choose between keeping secrets or naming an ugly truth that could tear her family apart.

Magic and mayhem abound in this spooky story about family legacies, first friendships, and how facing the ghosts inside can sometimes mean stirring up a little bit of ruckus.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Young Adult

Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan (2nd)

Baby Teeth CoverThe blood
Feeds the hunger
That threatens everything

It starts when Claudia offers her a yellow rose.
Immy has been in love before – many times, across many lifetimes. But never as deeply, as intensely as this.
Claudia has never been in love this before either. But then, this is her first time with a vampire.
The forbidden thirst for blood runs deep in Immy. And within her mind clamour the voices, of all the others she has been, their desires, and their wrongs.

A unique verse novel by the award-winning author of The Deepest Breath and The Space Between.

Buy it: Waterstones | Book Depository | Little Island

Major Detours by Zachary Sergi

It’s the summer before college and four best friends—Amelia, Chase, Cleo, and Logan—are on the first leg of their road trip inspired by the unique tarot deck that Amelia inherited from her grandmother. However, their trip full of visiting occult shops, bonding, and sightseeing quickly takes a major detour when they discover that their tarot deck is more valuable—and coveted—than they could’ve ever imagined. Suddenly pursued by collectors who are after the legendary “lost” work of an infamous cult-following artist, the four friends will discover the fortunes that await those who unearth the deck’s four missing cards.

As the reader, you’ll get to make actual choices to further the friends’ road trip adventure in this first-of-its-kind interactive novel. Will you help the main characters, Amelia and Chase, learn and grow? How will you navigate Amelia’s steamy budding romances and overcome the challenges facing Chase and Logan’s queer-teen relationship?  Will you uncover the mysteries of the tarot deck? The choices are yours to make!

Major Detours is more than the branching-path books from your childhood. Instead, this fresh format bridges the gap between nostalgic choose-your-own-adventure and the modern style of digital interactive fiction, with choices that always lead you forward in the story and feature four diverse, queer characters navigating relationships and self-discovery. In Major Detours, the reader can interactively engage in two queer romances (from 2 alternating POVs), between the challenges facing a teen cis-male monogomous long-term relationship and a budding discovery of pansexual and nonbinary identities.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

A Clash of Steel by CB Lee

Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island.

1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.

But the pendant’s true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang’s father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool’s journey.

Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition.

August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends.

But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

55588056Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.

That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.

But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

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The Night When No One Had Sex by Kalena Miller

Cover for The Night When No One Had SexIt’s the night of senior prom, and eighteen-year-old Julia has made a pact with her friends. (Yes, that kind of pact.) They have secured a secluded cabin in the woods, one night without parental supervision, and plenty of condoms. But as soon as they leave the dance, the pact begins to unravel. Alex’s grandmother is undergoing emergency surgery, and he and his date rush to the hospital. Zoe’s trying to figure out how she feels about getting off the waitlist at Yale―and how to tell her girlfriend. Madison’s chronic illness flares, holding her back once again from being a normal teenager. And Julia’s fantasy-themed role play gets her locked in a closet. Alternating between each character’s perspective and their ridiculous group chat, The Night When No One Had Sex finds a group of friends navigating the tenuous transition into adulthood and embracing the uncertainty of life after high school.

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Adult/General

Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn

In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.

For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster—the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down…but even the most powerful men can be defeated.

Ryia’s path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster’s stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it’s not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all…but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.

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No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

55748103One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it.

As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend’s trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters.

At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark?

The world will soon find out.

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The Final Child by Fran Dorricott

Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by ‘the Father’, a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn’t remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father was never caught.

Eighteen years later, Erin has done her best to put the past behind her. But then she meets Harriet. Harriet’s young cousins were the Father’s first victims and, haunted by their deaths, she is writing a book about the disappearances and is desperate for an interview. At first, Erin wants nothing to do with her. But then she starts receiving sinister gifts, her house is broken into, and she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After all these years, Erin believed that the Father was gone, but now she begins to wonder if he was only waiting…

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The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

56898248Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

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How to Wrestle a Girl: Stories by Venita Blackburn

56269289Venita Blackburn’s characters bully and suffer, spit and tease, mope and blame. They’re hyperaware of their bodies and fiercely observant, fending off the failures and advances of adults with indifferent ease. In “Biology Class,” they torment a teacher to the point of near insanity, while in “Bear Bear Harvest™,” they prepare to sell their excess fat and skin for food processing. Stark and sharp, hilarious and ominous, these pieces are scabbed, bruised, and prone to scarring.

Many of the stories, set in Southern California, follow a teenage girl in the aftermath of her beloved father’s death and capture her sister’s and mother’s encounters with men of all ages, as well as the girl’s budding attraction to her best friend, Esperanza. In and out of school, participating in wrestling and softball, attending church with her hysterically complicated family, and dominating boys in arm wrestling, she grapples with her burgeoning queerness and her emerging body, becoming wary of clarity rather than hoping for it.

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Witch, Please by Ann Aguirre

Danica Waterhouse is a fully modern witch―daughter, granddaughter, cousin, and co-owner of the Fix-It Witches, a magical tech repair shop. After a messy breakup that included way too much family “feedback,” Danica made a pact with her cousin: they’ll keep their hearts protected and have fun, without involving any of the overly opinionated Waterhouse matriarchs. Danica is more than a little exhausted navigating a long-standing family feud where Gram thinks the only good mundane is a dead one and Danica’s mother weaves floral crowns for anyone who crosses her path.

Three blocks down from the Fix-It Witches, Titus Winnaker, owner of Sugar Daddy’s bakery, has family trouble of his own. After a tragic loss, all he’s got left is his sister, the bakery, and a lifetime of terrible luck in love. Sure, business is sweet, but he can’t seem to shake the romantic curse that’s left him past thirty and still a virgin. He’s decided he’s doomed to be forever alone.

Until he meets Danica Waterhouse. The sparks are instant, their attraction irresistible. For him, she’s the one. To her, he’s a firebomb thrown in the middle of a family war. Can a modern witch find love with an old-fashioned mundane who refuses to settle for anything less than forever?

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Eighty Days by A.C. Esguerra

54303232“Map A Course, Arrive Safe Home. That’s The Measure Of Your Achievement.” A pilot wants nothing more than to fly. Or so he thought, until he crosses paths with a mysterious thief whose tricks draw him into unchartered territory and new adventure. In a life where the truth changes as quickly as clouds in the sky, the pilot must decide for himself what freedom really means. Award-winning cartoonist A.C. Esguerra presents an unforgettable love letter to flight, the quest for freedom and the greatest adventure of all – love.

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The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

The All-Consuming World - final cover - high-res - 2020-09-17.jpgMaya has died and been resurrected into countless cyborg bodies through the years of a long, dangerous career with the infamous Dirty Dozen, the most storied crew of criminals in the galaxy, at least before their untimely and gruesome demise.

Decades later, she and her diverse team of broken, diminished outlaws must get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade . . . but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir.

The highly evolved AI of the galaxy have their own agenda and will do whatever it takes to keep humanity from ever regaining control. As Maya and her comrades spiral closer to uncovering the AIs’ vast conspiracy, this band of violent women—half-clone and half-machine—must battle their own traumas and a universe of sapient ageships who want them dead, in order to settle their affairs once and for all.

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Non-Fiction

The Breaks by Julietta Singh

In a letter to her six-year-old daughter, Julietta Singh writes toward a tender vision of the world, offering children’s radical embrace of possibility as a model for how we might live. In order to survive looming political and ecological disasters, Singh urges, we must break from the conventions we have inherited and begin to orient ourselves toward more equitable and revolutionary paths.

The Breaks celebrates queer family-making, communal living, and Brown girlhood, complicating the stark binaries that shape contemporary US discourse. With nuance and generosity, Singh reveals the connections among the crises humanity faces—climate catastrophe, extractive capitalism, and the violent legacies of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism—inviting us to move through the breaks toward a tenable future.

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Exclusive Cover Reveal + Galley Giveaway: Interactive Novel (!) Major Detours by Zachary Sergi

I am so excited to have today’s guest on the site, because this is seriously a project unlike any I’ve ever seen. Major Detours by Zachary Sergi is an interactive YA novel releasing from Running Press on September 7th, 2021, and today we’re not only revealing the cover, but we’re giving away three galleys with a different beautiful cover, and, because I had to know WTF it means that it’s an interactive YA novel, I asked Zach to share a little more about the process of making this happen!

But first, the book:

It’s the summer before college and four best friends—Amelia, Chase, Cleo, and Logan—are on the first leg of their road trip inspired by the unique tarot deck that Amelia inherited from her grandmother. However, their trip full of visiting occult shops, bonding, and sightseeing quickly takes a major detour when they discover that their tarot deck is more valuable—and coveted—than they could’ve ever imagined. Suddenly pursued by collectors who are after the legendary “lost” work of an infamous cult-following artist, the four friends will discover the fortunes that await those who unearth the deck’s four missing cards.

As the reader, you’ll get to make actual choices to further the friends’ road trip adventure in this first-of-its-kind interactive novel. Will you help the main characters, Amelia and Chase, learn and grow? How will you navigate Amelia’s steamy budding romances and overcome the challenges facing Chase and Logan’s queer-teen relationship?  Will you uncover the mysteries of the tarot deck? The choices are yours to make!

Major Detours is more than the branching-path books from your childhood. Instead, this fresh format bridges the gap between nostalgic choose-your-own-adventure and the modern style of digital interactive fiction, with choices that always lead you forward in the story and feature four diverse, queer characters navigating relationships and self-discovery. In Major Detours, the reader can interactively engage in two queer romances (from 2 alternating POVs), between the challenges facing a teen cis-male monogomous long-term relationship and a budding discovery of pansexual and nonbinary identities.

And because I cannot keep this epic cover from you any longer:

**Art by Karl Mountford | Design by Marissa Raybuck**

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

And, as promised, here’s Zachary Sergi to talk about the creation and inspiration of this novel!

Publishing Choices

As with any novel, the links in the chain that led to the creation of Major Detours could take us decades back, but I’ll start us more recently: after years of writing digital interactive fiction novels for Choice of Games (Heroes Rise and Versus, which have found the most devoted and lovely readerships) and almost selling two TV pilots (one about a youth cult and another about tarot cards—sound familiar?), I decided to focus my energy on returning to my very first dream: writing and publishing a print novel.

That story spans several years (and includes writing a more straightforward YA supernatural horror novel), but this intention ultimately put me on the path to meeting my agent, Lucy Carson, and eventually my editor at Running Press Kids, Britny Brooks-Perilli. It turns out Britny had read my novels for Choice of Games and wanted to know if I was interested in adapting my unique style of interactive fiction for print.

Of course, the answer was yes. Though really, I had never set out to write interactive fiction. The first Heroes Rise came about similarly: a manager asked if I’d pitch Choice of Games as one of my first opportunities out of college (this was before iPhones had become popularized, so writing a novel that would live as an app for a brand-new publishing company was…a leap of faith, to be sure). As it turns out, like many others, I’m uniquely suited to write interactive fiction, having made up RPG games and stories my whole life (with my ever-growing action figure collection). As RuPaul often says, sometimes you have to let the dream dream you. I always dreamed of being a writer—and as the universe would have it, I’m meant to be an interactive writer.

Needless to say I was very up for the challenge of adapting the complex, coded style of modern IF for print. Britny and I then embarked on a very non-traditional process—perhaps fitting for a very non-traditional print debut. Britny (who has turned out to be my creative soulmate)  pitched me a concept: road trip with a potential genre twist. I then pitched tarot cards, a subject I had spent lots of time researching and knew had hidden depths not reflected in pop culture yet. We talked style, then I drafted a full proposal, complete with a sample chapter and a totally new interactive format—one designed to feel as reader-friendly as possible.

After many months of additional drafts and conversations, Britny’s team approved the novel. After years of work, I had arrived at this dream-come-true destination—by taking lots of unexpected detours. But now I actually had to write this novel we had proposed…

Writing Choices

Interactive fiction was born out of the interactive novels of the 80s and 90s: most think of the Choose Your Own Adventure line, but I actually grew up reading the Goosebumps: Reader Beware…You Choose The Scare line (I even tried building my own interactive slasher novel in the 3rd grade…so again, detour or destiny?) The novels written for Choice of Games, however, are all grown up: with sophisticated plots and characters, including complicated choices that are tracked by built-in coding and statistics (born out of early adventure video games). How were Britny and I going to replicate this digital/app-driven medium for print?

With lots of creativity, it turns out. The format we invented for Major Detours has three cornerstones. First: a more novelistic style. The original interactive print novels are what we call “bushy,” with lots of short story branches that end quickly and jump all over the book, then send you back to the beginning. In Major Detours, the choices always lead you forward and follow the spine of a linear plot—plus there are callbacks to choices you’ve made along the journey.

This leads us to the second cornerstone: a reading guide in the backmatter, where you can write in your choices using keywords. This unique system keeps track of your choices in a simple way, but once finished reading, you can then plug your choice-keywords into several reader personality profiles. Of course, the choices you make further the plot and branch scenes, but primarily these choices focus on shaping the interior lives of the two protagonists: defining their relationships, their struggles, and their beliefs. In doing so, you also build your own personality profile, choice by choice.

Third, the tone here is no longer middle-grade adventure; instead, we’re dealing with contemporary YA characters and their emotional, steamy, drama-filled coming-of-ages. Oh, and our teen crew is on a spooky tarot adventure, on the run from a maybe-cult of thrilling antagonists and answering deep questions about the meaning of life via the tarot. Some choice themes you will encounter: Can you predict the future or is there no such thing as destiny? Are spirits real or do we only ever haunt ourselves? How can long-term relationships survive going to college on opposite coasts? Is it better to fall for the mysterious good one or the seductive bad boy? Perhaps most importantly, these themes offer several queer romances to navigate… but saying any more about these would definitely mean spoilers for the alternate endings.

The Choices Are Yours

Interactivity, road trips, the tarot, cults, spirituality, queer joy—welcome to Major Detours, an interactive novel unlike any you’ve read before. We truly cannot wait to share it with all you readers!

How cool is that??

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

The galleys for Major Detours actually have a different cover, though it’s every bit as striking, and the Running Press team is giving three of them away here!

To enter, just leave a comment below! Let us know what you think about the cover, tell us about a choice you made (or wish you’d made), tell us your favorite game, or just acknowledge that this is really damn cool. Giveaway is open to U.S. recipients age 18 and over, and winner will be selected on Thursday, April 1st. Void where prohibited, and please allow for shipping delays due  to *gestures around at the world*.