New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

Typically, the last Tuesday of the month–especially if it’s the 5th Tuesday–is a slow week for new releases, so I’m surprised to see such a solid lineup out today! As a reminder, these are just some of the titles that I’m most excited about; it’s definitely not comprehensive.

Let me know in the comments which book out this week you’re the most excited to read! I personally cannot resist the premise of Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May: queer 1920s sapphic witches on an island with dark vibes? Sign me up!

Fiction

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson (F/F Historical Fiction)

the cover of The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin

A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, an orphan who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II as she discovers her own voice and sexuality, ultimately finding a family when she gets a job at a gay cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hilde leaves her orphanage in 1930s Berlin, and heads out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers. Rosa, one of the club’s waitresses and performers, immediately takes Hilde under her wing. As the café denizens slowly embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, worsening antisemitism and anti-homosexual sentiment, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war. 

Mysteries and Thrillers

Monarch by Candice Wuehle (Queer Thriller)

the cover of Monarch by Candice Wuehle

After waking up with a strange taste in her mouth and mysterious bruises, former child pageant star Jessica Clink unwittingly begins an investigation into a nefarious deep state underworld. Equipped with the eccentric education of her father, Dr. Clink (a professor of Boredom Studies and the founder of an elite study group known as the Devil’s Workshop), Jessica uncovers a disquieting connection between her former life as a beauty queen and an offshoot of Project MKUltra known as MONARCH.

As Jessica moves closer to the truth, she begins to suspect the involvement of everyone around her, including her own mother, Grethe (a Norwegian pageant queen turned occult American wellness guru for suburban housewives). With the help of Christine (her black-lipsticked riot grrrl babysitter and confidante), Jessica sets out to take down Project MONARCH. More importantly, she must discover if her first love, fellow teen queen Veronica Marshall, was genuine or yet another deep state plant.

Merging iconic true crime stories of the ’90s (Lorena Bobbitt, Nicole Brown Simpson, and JonBenét Ramsey) with theories of human consciousness, folklore, and a perennial cultural fixation with dead girls, MONARCH questions the shadow sides of self-concept: Who are you if you don’t know yourself?

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (Lesbian Fantasy)

the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. 

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one. 

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor. 

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

The Book of Azrael (Gods and Monsters #1) by Amber Nicole (Bisexual Fantasy)

the cover of The Book of Azrael

World Ender meets Ender of Worlds…
A thousand years ago, Dianna gave up her life in the deserts of Erioa to save her dying sister. She called upon anyone who would listen, not expecting a monster far worse than any nightmare to answer. Now she does what Kaden asks, even if that means securing an ancient relic from the very creatures that hunt her. 
 
A King thought long dead and long forgotten.
In the old world his name was Samkiel. In the new world it is Liam, but one title remains true throughout time. He is the World Ender, a myth to his enemies, a savior and King to those loyal to him. After the Gods War, he locked himself away, hiding from the world. He denied his crown and responsibilities, leaving the very ones who needed him most to deal with the fallout of the death of their homeworld. Now an attack on those he holds dear sends him back to the one realm he never wished to visit again and into the sights of an enemy he thought imprisoned eons ago. 
Now enemies older than time must put aside their differences and work together in hopes of saving both their world and every realm in between.

Young Adult

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

the cover of Live, Laugh, Kidnap

The only thing Genesis, Holly and Zoe seem to have in common is being stuck in Violet, Montana. Well, that and the fact that Hope Harvest Ministries is trying to ruin their lives.
 
Genesis lives on a commune that is now an echo of the New Age cult it once was. She’s witnessed power couple Pastor Jay and Ree Reaps transform their sleepy small town into a haven for online Influencers, who flock to Violet, Bible in one hand and Ree’s bestselling ACT LIKE A LADY, PRAY LIKE A BOSS in the other. Now, the Reaps have decided it’s God’s Will™ that they take over Gen’s ranch.
 
Holly is a begrudging tourist, forced to spend the summer with her estranged father as punishment for her unsavory behavior back in LA. To Holly, Hope Harvest is nothing but a gimmicky marketing ploy, but it’s threatening to put her father’s diner out of business and, for some reason, Holly cares.
 
All Zoe wants is to leave Violet, working thankless shifts at the diner to scrape together enough cash to start a new life with her girlfriend. But Zoe’s mother has lost everything to the church’s multilevel marketing schemes so the little money that Zoe manages to make goes right to debt collectors.
 
The only solution to their problems is to scam the scammers and protect what’s theirs. It shouldn’t take much – the Reaps’ golden son, an accidental kidnapping, some light blackmail – and the Reaps’ fortune will be in the girls’ much more deserving hands. As long as everything goes according to plan…

My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham (Sapphic YA Horror)

the cover of My Dearest Darkest

Wilder Girls meets The Craft in this Sapphic horror debut that asks: what price would you be willing to pay to achieve your deepest desires?

Finch Chamberlin is the newest transfer student to the ultra-competitive Ulalume Academy… but she’s also not what she seems. Months before school started, Finch and her parents got into an accident that should have left her dead at the bottom of the river. But something monstrous, and ancient, and terrifying, wouldn’t let her drown. Finch doesn’t know why she woke up after her heart stopped, but since dying she’s felt a constant pull from the school and the surrounding town of Rainwater, like something on the island is calling to her.

Selena St. Clair sees right through Finch, and she knows something is seriously wrong with her. But despite Selena’s suspicion, she feels drawn to Finch and has a sinking feeling that from now on the two will be inexplicably linked to one another.

One night Finch, Selena, and her friends accidentally summon a carnivorous creature of immense power in the depths of the school. It promises to grant every desire the girls have kept locked away in their insecure hearts—beauty, power, adoration—in exchange for a price: human body parts. But as the cost of their wanting becomes more deadly, Finch and Selena must learn to work together to stop the horror they unleashed, before it consumes the entire island.

Children’s Books

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita (Two Moms Picture Book)

the cover of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss.

Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

Poetry

let the dead in by Saida Agostini (Queer Poetry)

the cover of let the dead in

Saida Agostini’s first full-length poetry collection, let the dead, is an exploration of the mythologies that seek to subjugate Black bodies, and the counter-stories that reject such subjugation. Audacious, sensual, and grieving, this work explores how Black women harness the fantastic to craft their own road to freedom. A journey across Guyana, London, and the United States, it is a meditation on black womanhood, queerness, the legacy of colonization, and pleasure. These poems craft a creation story fat with love, queerness, mermaids, and blackness.

Nonfiction

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Lesbian Memoir)

the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Hannah Gadsby declared in her show Nanette, a scorching critique of the way society conducts public debates about marginalized communities. When it premiered on Netflix, it left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her singular ability to take them from rolling laughter to devastated silence. Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.

Gadsby grew up as the youngest of five children in an isolated town in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. She perceived her childhood as safe and “normal,” but as she gained an awareness of her burgeoning queerness, the outside world began to undermine the “vulnerably thin veneer” of her existence. After moving to mainland Australia and receiving a degree in art history, Gadsby found herself adrift, working itinerant jobs and enduring years of isolation punctuated by homophobic and sexual violence. At age twenty-seven, without a home or the ability to imagine her own future, she was urged by a friend to enter a stand-up competition. She won, and so began her career in comedy.             

Gadsby became well known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical humor that made her the butt of her own jokes. But in 2015, as Australia debated the legality of same-sex marriage, Gadsby started to question this mode of storytelling, beginning work on a show that would become “the most-talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years” (The New York Times).           

Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

These weekly posts were getting a little long, so I’ve narrowed them down considerably! These are just the titles I’m most intrigued by, but they’re far from a complete list. Let me know which new releases you’re most excited by this week!

Romance

The Roads Left Behind Us by Kat Jackson (F/F Romance)

the cover of The Roads Left Behind

After some unexpected life detours, Callie Lewes is determined to complete her PhD program and figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Her laser focus is finely tuned and she’s ready for total immersion in literature, subpar student essays, and all the joys that come with being a graduate teaching assistant. She has no time for, or interest in, anything else. Especially not dating.

Even if Callie were to entertain the idea of dating, she’s certain it would be with someone vibrant, open, and close to her own age. Definitely not someone like Dr. Kate Jory, a new member of Pennbrook College’s English department. Kate is both intimidating and a closed book. And the age difference between them is not small. But Kate is also brilliant and fascinating, and Callie is drawn to her in ways she’d never imagined possible.

Not that Kate notices. Or does she? Callie can’t tell. Even though they develop an engaging and flirtatious friendship, Callie struggles to work up the courage to put herself directly in Kate’s romantic path—wary of the type of fire she suspects their sparks could ignite.

Shake Things Up by Skye Kilaen (Polyamorous M/F/F Romance)

the cover of Shake Things Up

Three people, one road trip, and so many queer feelings. A polyamorous romance about changing your life.

Allie and Matt’s happy open relationship means they’re both free to find hookups. When Allie gets duped by a date, though, she’s found with someone else’s cheating boyfriend. Ugh!

Meeting Noelle by helping her leave the guy isn’t the night Allie expected, but after the women bond over drinks and a seriously dysfunctional tape gun, Allie’s hesitant to say goodbye. It’s weird; she doesn’t normally like-like people who aren’t Matt.

Matt’s questioning whether he’s entirely straight, and he hopes to find answers on his and Allie’s impending road trip. But he’s cool with bringing her new maybe-crush along, especially since he and Noelle keep finding things in common. And staring into each other’s eyes.

Noelle lost her demanding job right before her boyfriend cheated, and she’s looking for her next career move—preferably back home in Chicago. Allie’s fumbling charm and Matt’s flirtatious humor, however, make her wonder if her life compass needs fixing.

Late-night talks on Texas highways, first kisses, and hotel confessions might change a lot… if there’s a next step for Noelle that isn’t leaving.

A high-heat contemporary romance novel with a polyamorous HFN involving F/F and queer M/F relationships. F/F and M/M love scenes on page.

Tropes: road trip, geeks in love, bisexual awakening, coming out, polyamory, open relationships.

Detailed content warnings will be available in the book’s front matter and on the author’s website.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1) by Tara Sim (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of The City of Dusk

Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the City of Dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving metropolis. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Risha, a necromancer fighting to keep the peace; Nikolas, a soldier who struggles to see the light; and Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with a reckless heart—will become reluctant allies in the quest to save their city.

But their rebellion will cost them dearly. 

Middle Grade

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (Sapphic Middle Grade Contemporary)

the cover of Ellen Outside the Lines

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

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

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

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

This week is a mix of genres, including a few from Bold Strokes Books, as well as a couple of poetry collections! These all use the publishers’ descriptions. What are you reading this week?

Fiction

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (Queer Fiction)

the cover of Vagabonds!

In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.
 
As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde’s characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion.
 
Blending unvarnished realism with myth and fantasy, Vagabonds! is a vital work of imagination that takes us deep inside the hearts, minds, and bodies of a people in duress—and in triumph.

Mysteries and Thrillers

Secret Identity by Alex Segura (Queer Historical Mystery)

the cover of Secret Identity

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.

Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.

Whereabouts Unknown by Meredith Doench (Lesbian Thriller)

the cover of Whereabouts Unknown

Theodora Madsen has everything she’s ever hoped for: a distinguished career as a homicide detective with the Dayton Police Department, a woman she loves, and a baby on the way.

While Theo and Bree nest and plan for their family’s future, two sixteen-year-old Ohio girls vanish—one from Dayton and the other from Brecksville—each leaving behind a bloody handprint. Then a routine interview goes disastrously wrong, and Theo’s injured and facing a lengthy recovery.

With her professional future uncertain and the cases growing cold, Theo scrambles to piece together the links between the girls. But the clock is ticking and time is running out.

Romance

Exclusive by Melissa Brayden (F/F Romance)

the cover of Exclusive

Her new job as an on-air reporter in sunny San Diego is a big break for Skyler Ruiz. No more covering small-town softball games or vegetable growing competitions. She’ll be working at the same station as her TV mega-crush and longtime idol, anchorwoman Caroline McNamara, and that doesn’t hurt either.

Unfortunately, people don’t always live up to expectations.

Skyler’s hopes of impressing Caroline are dashed when she discovers Caroline has little time for newbie reporters and is downright unwelcoming. But when Caroline drops her guard, Skyler is left with her head happily spinning, her heart wide open, and oh-so ready to explore a romance she never saw coming.

So, of course, the network pits them against each other.

It’s only when Skyler is ready to sacrifice everything she’s ever dreamed of for Caroline does she begin to suspect love is nothing but fake news.

The Game by Jan Gayle (F/F Romance)

the cover of The Game

Ryan Gibbs was the best thing to hit the LPGA from New Mexico since Nancy Lopez, but that was two years ago when her rookie year tour made the history books. Since she left the world of professional golf to be with her sick mother, she hasn’t played outside of her home course in Los Alamos, where she now works as a coach.

Katherine Reese has the drive to be the best, but since her second season, when she landed herself in the top ten in nearly every tournament, she’s barely been able to make the cut. Unable to let go of her ghosts, Katherine is in danger of tanking her career before it even begins.

Ryan and Katherine are natural competitors thrown together by their swing coach, Maggie Hart. Both have so much to prove and so little time for the inconveniences of falling in love. But if they can figure out how to work together, they just might be a force for women’s sports and a beautiful match for each other.

Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh (F/F Historical Romance)

the cover of Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh

Anne, the Duchess of Hawthorne, is tired of her reputation as the Ice Queen of London society. She resolves to leave behind her cold-hearted marriage to the duke—and to find a woman to keep her warm at night. Perhaps the dashing designer she hires to transform her Mayfair estate can also help her to transform her life.

Letitia Barrow has big dreams of running her own interior design business. The opportunity to reinvent the Hawthorne estate is the job that will finally establish her as a leading designer among the ton. The duchess might make her weak in the knees, but giving in to temptation could risk everything she’s working so hard to build.

The designer and the duchess embark on an affair, with renovations to the house in full swing—and the renovations in their hearts well underway. Then, unexpectedly, the duke returns home and their feelings are tested. Can London’s hottest new designer melt the Ice Queen forever?

Dying for You by Jenny Frame (F/F Vampire Romance)

the cover of Dying for You

Victorija Dred, Principe of the Dred clan, is one of the most feared vampires to walk the earth, but since her unwanted blood bond with Daisy, she’s slowly losing herself to blood sickness. Her clan is dismayed by her reluctance to order Daisy brought to her. The old Victorija would have used her for her blood without a second thought. However no one knows of the age-old vow holding her back.

Daisy MacDougall is struggling to cope with the vampire bite that is urging her to seek out Victorija. Secrets and history bind them in unfathomable ways, and when she discovers her family’s past and a very different Victorija, she vows to find the truth even if she must force their meeting.

Victorija and Daisy travel a dark and seductive path even as Victorija fights every instinct to take Daisy’s blood, and love seems all but impossible. As if that wasn’t bad enough, neither expects the real threat to Daisy’s life to be hiding inside the Dred clan.

Lead Me Astray by Sondi Warner (Queer Polyamorous Paranormal Romance)

the cover of Lead Me Astray

Welcome to Overlay City in New Orleans—a shadowy in-between where the paranormal and the real world meet. Its newest resident: Aurie Edison.

A victim of a hit-and-run, Aurie now exists as a ghost in this mysterious realm. Convinced there is more to her death than what she remembers, Aurie sets out to uncover the truth. She soon finds herself in the company of Mys, a psychic empath, whose need to help others trumps all else, and Zyr, a werewolf detective able to work both the human and occult worlds.

As they begin to piece together the events leading up to her death, Aurie can’t deny the deeper connection developing between them. Yet, with each new secret suggesting a more sinister danger at play, they realize they may not make it out (dead or) alive.

Undeniably queer and devilishly sexy, Lead Me Astray will take you to the shadowy depths of New Orleans and never let you go.

Young Adult

Take Her Down by Lauren Emily Whalen (Queer YA Thriller)

the cover of Take Her Down

In this queer YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,stakes at Augustus Magnet School are cutthroat, scheming is creative, and loyalty is ever-changing.

Overnight, Bronwyn St. James goes from junior class queen to daughter of an imprisoned felon, and she lands in the care of her aunt and younger cousin Cass, a competitive cheerleader who Bronwyn barely knows. Life gets worse when her ex-best friend, the always-cool Jude Cuthbert, ostracizes Bronwyn from the queer social elite for dating a boy, Porter Kendrick.

Bronwyn and Jude are both running for student body president, and that means war. But after Bronwyn, Porter, and Cass share a video of Jude in a compromising position, Jude suddenly goes missing. No one has seen her for weeks and it might be all Bronwyn’s fault. Will Jude ever be found? Or will Bronwyn finally have to reckon with what she’s won—and what she’s lost?

Content Advisory: Depictions of sexual assault.

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

My Wandering Warrior Existence by Nagata Kabi (Lesbian Manga Memoir)

the cover of My Wandering Warrior Existence

The newest diary manga from the Harvey Award-winning creator of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.

After attending a friend’s wedding, Nagata Kabi decides she wants one of her own. That’s not the only thing she wants—she longs to love and be loved. But she has three major problems: she has no partner, no dating experience, and her only sexual encounters are limited to a lesbian escort service. With the help of a photoshoot, a dating app, and more, the author embarks on a journey to seek the love and happiness she so desperately desires.

Poetry

Cane Fire by Shani Mootoo (Queer Poetry)

the cover of Cane Fire

From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.

Throughout this evocative, sensual collection, akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and its associated family history give meaning to the present. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo’s own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.

Prelude by Brynne Rebele-Henry (Lesbian Poetry)

the cover of Prelude

Prelude delineates the gay female experience through a poetic reconstruction of the girlhood of Catherine of Siena, a Catholic saint who lived in 1300s Italy and disobeyed her parents by refusing marriage to devote her life to God.

Through a historical lens, Brynne Rebele-Henry examines the erasure of gay women’s lives and offers a perspective of medieval queer girlhood while considering themes such as violence, desire, and the lesbian body.

Nonfiction

Outrageous!: The Story of Section 28 and Britain’s Battle for LGBT Education by Paul Baker (Nonfiction)

the cover of Outrageous

A personal and impassioned history of the infamous Section 28, the 1988 UK law banning the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality.”
 
On May 23, 1988, Paul Baker sat down with his family to eat cake on his sixteenth birthday while The Six O’Clock News played in the background. But something was not quite right. There was muffled shouting—“Stop Section 28!”—and a scuffle. The papers would announce: “Beeb Man Sits on Lesbian.”
 
The next day Section 28 passed into UK law, forbidding local authorities from the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It would send shockwaves through British society: silencing gay pupils and teachers, while galvanizing mass protests and the formation of the LGBTQ+ rights groups OutRage! and Stonewall.
 
Outrageous! tells its story: the background to the Act, how the press fanned the flames and what politicians said during debates, how protestors fought back to bring about the repeal of the law in the 2000s, and its eventual legacy. Based on detailed research, interviews with key figures—including Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman, and Angela Mason—and personal recollection, Outrageous! is an impassioned, warm, often moving account of unthinkable prejudice enshrined within the law and of the power of community to overcome it.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

Lesbrary Links: Quozies, the Queer Children’s Books Revolution, Lesbian BookTok, and More

I follow hundreds of queer book blogs to scout out the best sapphic book news and reviews! Many of them get posted on Tumblr and Twitter as I discover them, but my favourites get saved for these link compilations. Here are some of the posts I’ve found interesting in the last few weeks.

I try not to cover too much of the individual queer book bannings here, because it’s overwhelming and painful to sift through the huge amount that come in every week, but you can keep up with them at Book Riot and ALA’s International Freedom Blog. I have pulled out some of the high level overviews, though.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki
OF Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
the cover of Heather Has Two Mommies
Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert
the cover of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

The covers above are all of sapphic books that have been recently challenged or banned.

You’re Not Welcome Here: How book bans alienate Texas students

Florida teen suspended for “Don’t Say Gay” protest won’t back down

From book bans to “Don’t Say Gay” bill, LGBTQ kids feel erased in the classroom

Malinda Lo wrote about the ramping up of books bans across the U.S., including challenges of her own books

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
the cover of D'Vaughn and Kriss Plan a Wedding
the cover of Cantoras
the cover of From Dust, a Flame
the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

Find a Home in These Unsung Classics of Black Queer Literature

13 Queer Black Romances That Will Give You All The Feels

To celebrate International Women’s Day, LGBTQ Reads posted a list of “great books that feature friendship, companionship, sisterhood, and other group dynamics among (primarily) women”

Here are 24 must-read LGBTQ books out this month

Here is Queer Poetry for Every Sign

the cover of Milk Fed
the cover of Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Ace of Spades cover
the cover of Panpocalypse

The Best LGBTQ Books of 2021, According to American Librarians

It’s Time To Curl Up with a “Quozy” – A Queer Cozy Mystery

Read these 8 Mystery Books With Bi+ Main Characters

These queer dark academia books are worth obsessing over

Don’t miss these queer books from indie presses out this year

Read these powerful LGBTQ memoirs

Thank You, Romance: On Dating in My 30s, Glorious Conversations, and Queer Romance Novels

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
the cover of The Secret Language
the cover of Love and Other Disasters
the cover of A Dowry of Blood
The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Here are 7 Fascinating Facts About Rita Mae Brown

Learn about Ursula Nordstrom and the Queer Revolution of the 20th Century Children’s Books

Laynie Rose, a lesbian BookTokker, was interviewed at Bitch Media

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson, one of my favourite reads of last year, is coming out in a special edition hardcover!

Gillian Anderson and Lily Rabe are Queer Loves Eleanor and Hick in Showtime’s “The First Lady”

Will “The Color Purple” Get Black Queerness Right This Time?

Well of Loneliness cover
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m danforth
The Unspoken Name cover
the cover of The Thousand Eyes
the covers of Girls Can Kiss Now

Radclyffe Hall’s papers have been digitized and are available online at the University of Texas at Austin

I Found My Queer Guidebook in The Well of Loneliness

The Miseducation of Cameron Post made me question everything about being a lesbian

The Thousand Eyes Wraps Up a Queer Epic Duology With God Killing and Monster %@$#ing

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz was reviewed at Autostraddle


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61 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month!

a collage of the covers listed with the text Bi and Lesbian Books Out in March!

Would you believe that more than sixty sapphic books come out this month? It’s true! Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find out which books have queer representation, or what kind of representation they have. So here’s a big list of bi and lesbian books out this month, sorted by genre. I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!

This month seems to be the memoir/biography release month, including Hannah Gadsby’s memoir, plus several graphic memoirs/biographies! There are also a few different two mom picture books out this month.

As always, if you can get these through an indie bookstore, that is ideal, but if you can’t, the titles and covers are linked to my Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, I’ll get a small percentage. On to the books!

Adult

Fiction

the cover of Daughters of the Deep

Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel (Sapphic Fiction)

In this haunting and groundbreaking historical novel, Danielle Daniel imagines the lives of women in the Algonquin territories of the 1600s, a story inspired by her family’s ancestral link to a young girl who was murdered by French settlers.

1657. Marie, a gifted healer of the Deer Clan, does not want to marry the green-eyed soldier from France who has asked for her hand. But her people are threatened by disease and starvation and need help against the Iroquois and their English allies if they are to survive. When her chief begs her to accept the white man’s proposal, she cannot refuse him, and sheds her deerskin tunic for a borrowed blue wedding dress to become Pierre’s bride.

1675. Jeanne, Marie’s oldest child, is seventeen, neither white nor Algonquin, caught between worlds. Caught by her own desires, too. Her heart belongs to a girl named Josephine, but soon her father will have to find her a husband or be forced to pay a hefty fine to the French crown. Among her mother’s people, Jeanne would have been considered blessed, her two-spirited nature a sign of special wisdom. To the settlers of New France, and even to her own father, Jeanne is unnatural, sinful–a woman to be shunned, beaten, and much worse.

With the poignant, unforgettable story of Marie and Jeanne, Danielle Daniel reaches back through the centuries to touch the very origin of the long history of violence against Indigenous women and the deliberate, equally violent disruption of First Nations cultures.

the cover Panpocalypse

Panpocalypse by Carley Moore (Queer Fiction)

During the coronavirus pandemic, a queer disabled woman bikes through a locked-down NYC for the ex-girlfriend who broke her heart.

Orpheus manages to buy a bicycle just before they sell out across the city. She takes to the streets looking for Eurydice, the first woman she fell in love with, who also broke her heart. The city is largely closed and on lockdown, devoid of touch, connection, and community. But Orpheus hears of a mysterious underground bar Le Monocle, fashioned after the lesbian club of the same name in 1930s Paris.

Will Orpheus be able to find it? Will she ever be allowed to love again? Panpocalypse—first published as an online serial in spring of 2020—follows a lonely, disabled, poly hero in this novel about disease, decay, love, and revolution.

the cover of The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson (F/F Historical Fiction)

A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, an orphan who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II as she discovers her own voice and sexuality, ultimately finding a family when she gets a job at a gay cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hilde leaves her orphanage in 1930s Berlin, and heads out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers. Rosa, one of the club’s waitresses and performers, immediately takes Hilde under her wing. As the café denizens slowly embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, worsening antisemitism and anti-homosexual sentiment, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war. 

the cover of Eleutheria by Allegra Hyde
The cover of the Saints and Sinners 2022 anthology

Mystery/Thrillers

the cover of The World Cannot Give

The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton (Sapphic Thriller)

The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school—and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.

When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir.

Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

The World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.

the cover of Monarch by Candice Wuehle

Monarch by Candice Wuehle (Queer Thriller)

After waking up with a strange taste in her mouth and mysterious bruises, former child pageant star Jessica Clink unwittingly begins an investigation into a nefarious deep state underworld. Equipped with the eccentric education of her father, Dr. Clink (a professor of Boredom Studies and the founder of an elite study group known as the Devil’s Workshop), Jessica uncovers a disquieting connection between her former life as a beauty queen and an offshoot of Project MKUltra known as MONARCH.

As Jessica moves closer to the truth, she begins to suspect the involvement of everyone around her, including her own mother, Grethe (a Norwegian pageant queen turned occult American wellness guru for suburban housewives). With the help of Christine (her black-lipsticked riot grrrl babysitter and confidante), Jessica sets out to take down Project MONARCH. More importantly, she must discover if her first love, fellow teen queen Veronica Marshall, was genuine or yet another deep state plant.

Merging iconic true crime stories of the ’90s (Lorena Bobbitt, Nicole Brown Simpson, and JonBenét Ramsey) with theories of human consciousness, folklore, and a perennial cultural fixation with dead girls, MONARCH questions the shadow sides of self-concept: Who are you if you don’t know yourself?

the cover of As You Look
the cover of Steadying the Ark
the cover of Secret Identity
the cover of Whereabouts Unknown

Romance

the cover of The One True Me and You

The One True Me and You by Remi K. England (Gender/Pronoun Questioning Romance)

Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends in real life and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend:

· Try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels
· Wear more masculine-presenting cosplay
· Kiss a girl for the first time

It’s…a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there’s this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols…and then, there’s Teagan.

Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize: the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. She also has secrets:

· She loves the dresses but hates the tiaras
· She’s a giant nerd for everything GreatCon
· She’s gay af

If Teagan can just keep herself wrapped up tight for one more weekend, she can claim the scholarship and go off to college out and proud. If she’s caught, she could lose everything she’s worked for. If her rival, Miss North Carolina, has anything to do with it, that’s exactly how it’ll go down.

When Teagan and Kay bump into one another the first night, sparks fly. Their connection is intense―as is their shared enemy. If they’re spotted, the safe space of the con will be shattered, and all their secrets will follow them home. The risks are great…but could the reward of embracing their true selves be worth it?

A big-hearted, joyful romance and a love letter to all things geek, Remi K. England’s The One True Me and You is a *witness me* celebration of standing up for, and being, yourself.

the cover of Wherever Is Your Heart

Wherever Is Your Heart by Anita Kelly (F/F Romance)

How long, exactly, had June been coming to Moonie’s for the sole purpose of pining after the bartender?

Long enough to know, probably, that there was no good reason for Mal Edwards, a bastion of stability and good sense, to see any kind of future with June anyway. Was it even fair to express feelings to a woman like that when June was barely around, on the road more than she wasn’t?

But as another Pride weekend approaches, June’s fiftieth birthday and the eventual end of her long-haul trucking days loom in her mind, nestled against the memories of Moonie’s nights gone by where it felt like June and Mal came close—close to something happening, something real. Until June would inevitably chicken out, and retreat once again to life on the road.

It’s time for June to finally figure out her next act. And if she’s not brave enough to ask Mal Edwards to be part of it, she doesn’t deserve her, anyway.

After all. If you can’t tell a butch you love her during Pride, when the hell can you?

the cover of The Break Up
the cover of Exclusive
the cover of Business of the Heart
the cover of The Game
the cover of The Roads Left Behind
the cover of Not Your Type
the cover of Training for Love
the cover of Shake Things Up
the cover of Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh
the cover of Dying for You

Fantasy

the cover of Last Exit by Max Gladstone

Last Exit by Max Gladstone (F/F Fantasy)

When Zelda and her friends first met, in college, they believed they had all the answers. They had figured out a big secret about how the world worked and they thought that meant they could change things.

They failed. One of their own fell, to darkness and rot.

Ten years later, they’ve drifted apart, building lives for themselves, families, fortunes. All but Zelda. She’s still wandering the backroads of the nation. She’s still fighting monsters. She knows: the past isn’t over. It’s not even past.

The road’s still there. The rot’s still waiting. They can’t hide from it any more. Because, at long last, their friend is coming home. And hell is coming with her.

the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (Lesbian Fantasy)

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. 

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one. 

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor. 

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

the cover of The City of Dusk

The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1) by Tara Sim (Sapphic Fantasy)

Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the City of Dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving metropolis. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Risha, a necromancer fighting to keep the peace; Nikolas, a soldier who struggles to see the light; and Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with a reckless heart—will become reluctant allies in the quest to save their city.

But their rebellion will cost them dearly. 

the cover of Xenocultivars
the new cover of The Atlas Six
the cover of The Book of Azrael
the cover of Pennyblade

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

the cover of Secret Passages
the cover of Catch These Hands!, Vol. 1

Young Adult

YA Contemporary

the cover of Every Variable of Us

Every Variable of Us by Charles A. Bush (Bisexual YA Contemporary)

After Philly teenager Alexis Duncan is injured in a gang shooting, her dreams of a college scholarship and pro basketball career vanish in an instant. To avoid becoming another Black teen trapped in her poverty-stricken neighborhood, she shifts her focus to the school’s STEM team, a group of self-professed nerds seeking their own college scholarships.

Academics have never been her thing, but Alexis is freshly motivated by Aamani Chakrabarti, the new Indian student who becomes her friend (and crush?). Alexis begins to see herself as so much more than an athlete. But just as her future starts to reform, Alexis’s own doubts and old loyalties pull her back into harm’s way.

the cover of Live, Laugh, Kidnap

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

The only thing Genesis, Holly and Zoe seem to have in common is being stuck in Violet, Montana. Well, that and the fact that Hope Harvest Ministries is trying to ruin their lives.
 
Genesis lives on a commune that is now an echo of the New Age cult it once was. She’s witnessed power couple Pastor Jay and Ree Reaps transform their sleepy small town into a haven for online Influencers, who flock to Violet, Bible in one hand and Ree’s bestselling ACT LIKE A LADY, PRAY LIKE A BOSS in the other. Now, the Reaps have decided it’s God’s Will™ that they take over Gen’s ranch.
 
Holly is a begrudging tourist, forced to spend the summer with her estranged father as punishment for her unsavory behavior back in LA. To Holly, Hope Harvest is nothing but a gimmicky marketing ploy, but it’s threatening to put her father’s diner out of business and, for some reason, Holly cares.
 
All Zoe wants is to leave Violet, working thankless shifts at the diner to scrape together enough cash to start a new life with her girlfriend. But Zoe’s mother has lost everything to the church’s multilevel marketing schemes so the little money that Zoe manages to make goes right to debt collectors.
 
The only solution to their problems is to scam the scammers and protect what’s theirs. It shouldn’t take much – the Reaps’ golden son, an accidental kidnapping, some light blackmail – and the Reaps’ fortune will be in the girls’ much more deserving hands. As long as everything goes according to plan…

the cover of Forward March

Forward March by Skye Quinlan (F/F Asexual YA Contemporary)

What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?

Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band―and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:

1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that―let alone if she likes other girls.
3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.

But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.

With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.

the cover of Great or Nothing
the cover of Travelers Along the Way

YA Fantasy

the cover of From Dust, a Flame

From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

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

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

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

the cover of My Dearest Darkest

Children

Middle Grade

the cover of Drew Leclair Gets a Clue

Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury (Queer Middle Grade)

In this modern take on Harriet the Spy, twelve-year-old Drew uses her true crime expertise to catch the cyberbully in her school—only to discover that family, friendship, and identity are the hardest mysteries to solve.

Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?

the cover of Ellen Outside the Lines

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (Sapphic Middle Grade Contemporary)

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

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

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

Picture Books

the cover of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita (Two Moms Picture Book)

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss.

Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

the cover of All Moms
the cover of Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Nonfiction

Poetry

the cover of Saints and Sinners 2021 and 2022 New Poetry from the Festival
the cover of let the dead in
the cover of Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes
the cover of Cane Fire
the cover of Prelude

Memoirs & Essays

the cover of Another Appalachia

Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia (Queer Memoir)

When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.

Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.

the cover of Burning My Roti

Burning My Roti: Breaking Barriers as a Queer Indian Woman by Sharan Dhaliwal (Queer Memoir)

Part memoir, part guide, Burning My Roti is essential reading for a new generation of South Asian women.

With chapters covering sexual and cultural identity, body hair, colorism and mental health, and a particular focus on the suffocating beauty standards South Asian women are expected to adhere to, Sharan Dhaliwal speaks openly about her journey towards loving herself, offering advice, support and comfort to people that are encountering the same issues.

This provocative book celebrates the strides South Asian women have made, whilst also providing powerful advice through personal stories by Sharan and other South Asian women from all over the world.

the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Lesbian Memoir)

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Hannah Gadsby declared in her show Nanette, a scorching critique of the way society conducts public debates about marginalized communities. When it premiered on Netflix, it left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her singular ability to take them from rolling laughter to devastated silence. Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.

Gadsby grew up as the youngest of five children in an isolated town in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. She perceived her childhood as safe and “normal,” but as she gained an awareness of her burgeoning queerness, the outside world began to undermine the “vulnerably thin veneer” of her existence. After moving to mainland Australia and receiving a degree in art history, Gadsby found herself adrift, working itinerant jobs and enduring years of isolation punctuated by homophobic and sexual violence. At age twenty-seven, without a home or the ability to imagine her own future, she was urged by a friend to enter a stand-up competition. She won, and so began her career in comedy.             

Gadsby became well known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical humor that made her the butt of her own jokes. But in 2015, as Australia debated the legality of same-sex marriage, Gadsby started to question this mode of storytelling, beginning work on a show that would become “the most-talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years” (The New York Times).           

Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.

the covers of Girls Can Kiss Now

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz (Lesbian Essays)

Perfect for fans of Samantha Irby and Trick Mirror, a funny, whip-smart collection of personal essays exploring the intersection of queerness, relationships, pop culture, the internet, and identity, introducing one of the most undeniably original new voices today.

Jill Gutowitz’s life—for better and worse—has always been on a collision course with pop culture. There’s the time the FBI showed up at her door because of something she tweeted about Game of Thrones. The pop songs that have been the soundtrack to the worst moments of her life. And of course, the pivotal day when Orange Is the New Black hit the airwaves and broke down the door to Jill’s own sexuality. In these honest examinations of identity, desire, and self-worth, Jill explores perhaps the most monumental cultural shift of our lifetimes: the mainstreaming of lesbian culture. Dusting off her own personal traumas and artifacts of her not-so-distant youth she examines how pop culture acts as a fun house mirror reflecting and refracting our values—always teaching, distracting, disappointing, and revealing us.

Girls Can Kiss Now is a fresh and intoxicating blend of personal stories, sharp observations, and laugh-out-loud humor. This timely collection of essays helps us make sense of our collective pop-culture past even as it points the way toward a joyous, uproarious, near—and very queer—future.

the cover of Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American by Laura Gao (Sapphic Graphic Memoir)

Messy Roots is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt, and deeply engaging story of their journey to find themself–as an American, as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, as a queer person, and as a Wuhanese American in the middle of a pandemic.”—Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream

After spending her early years in Wuhan, China, riding water buffalos and devouring stinky tofu, Laura immigrates to Texas, where her hometown is as foreign as Mars—at least until 2020, when COVID-19 makes Wuhan a household name.

In Messy Roots, Laura illustrates her coming-of-age as the girl who simply wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why girls make her heart flutter.

Insightful, original, and hilarious, toggling seamlessly between past and present, China and America, Gao’s debut is a tour de force of graphic storytelling.

the cover of My Wandering Warrior Existence

My Wandering Warrior Existence by Nagata Kabi (Lesbian Manga Memoir)

The newest diary manga from the Harvey Award-winning creator of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.

After attending a friend’s wedding, Nagata Kabi decides she wants one of her own. That’s not the only thing she wants—she longs to love and be loved. But she has three major problems: she has no partner, no dating experience, and her only sexual encounters are limited to a lesbian escort service. With the help of a photoshoot, a dating app, and more, the author embarks on a journey to seek the love and happiness she so desperately desires.

the cover of Flung Out of Space

Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith by Grace Ellis, Hannah Templer (Lesbian Graphic Nonfiction)

Flung Out of Space is both a love letter to the essential lesbian novel, The Price of Salt, and an examination of its notorious author, Patricia HighsmithVeteran comics creators Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer have teamed up to tell this story through Highsmith’s eyes—reimagining the events that inspired her to write the story that would become a foundational piece of queer literature. Flung Out of Space opens with Pat begrudgingly writing low-brow comics. A drinker, a smoker, and a hater of life, Pat knows she can do better. Her brain churns with images of the great novel she could and should be writing—what will eventually be Strangers on a Train— which would later be adapted into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951.
 
At the same time, Pat, a lesbian consumed with self-loathing, is in and out of conversion therapy, leaving a trail of sexual conquests and broken hearts in her wake. However, one of those very affairs and a chance encounter in a department store give Pat the idea for her soon-to-be beloved tale of homosexual love that was the first of its kind—it gave the lesbian protagonists a happy ending.
 
This is not just the story behind a classic queer book, but of a queer artist who was deeply flawed. It’s a comic about what it was like to write comics in the 1950s, but also about what it means to be a writer at any time in history, struggling to find your voice.
    
Author Grace Ellis contextualizes Patricia Highsmith as both an unintentional queer icon and a figure whose problematic views and noted anti-Semitism have cemented her controversial legacy. Highsmith’s life imitated her art with results as devastating as the plot twists that brought her fame and fortune.

General Nonfiction

the cover of Alphabet Soup by Michael Bach
the cover of Outrageous
the cover of Outwrite
the cover of Queer Country
the cover of Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s

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New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

the covers of the book listed and the text Sapphic New Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

Mystery

The Verifiers by Jane Pek (Sapphic Mystery)

the cover of The Verifiers

Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing…

Claudia is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she’s just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency. 
 
A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client vanishes, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

Romance

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (Bisexual and Lesbian Romance)

the cover of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
 
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
 
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…

Beyond the Blue by TJ O’Shea (F/F Romance)

the cover of Beyond the Blue by TJ O'Shea

Numbers rule Dr. Mei Sharpe’s life. She has no husband, one friend, two daughters, and three random meetings with the same woman within four weeks. Once is chance, twice is coincidence, but upon the third meeting, even Mei in all her empirical rigidness must admit that perhaps the universe is giving her a nudge. A nudge that lands her directly in the path of Lieutenant Morgan Kelly—an affable, charming detective for the Sheriff Department’s brand-new cold case team working down the hall from Mei’s morgue.

More golden retriever than hard-boiled detective, Morgan is determined to pull the asocial widow out of her shell. As the icy scientist warms to her cheerful new friend, an irrepressible chemistry develops, and Mei begins to realize she’s perhaps a different number on the Kinsey scale than previously considered.

As Mei and Morgan struggle with guilt and grief, drama and desires, Mei finds her scientific austerity is no match for the universe and its nudges toward the startling revelation of what her heart really wants.

SFF/Horror/Speculative Fiction

Scorpica (The Five Queendoms #1) by G.R. Macallister (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of Scorpica

A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

Sisters of the Forsaken Stars (Our Lady of Endless Worlds #2) by Lina Rather (Queer Science Fiction)

the cover of Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

“We lit the spark, maybe we should be here for the flames.”

Not long ago, Earth’s colonies and space stations threw off the yoke of planet Earth’s tyrannical rule. Decades later, trouble is brewing in the Four Systems, and Old Earth is flexing its power in a bid to regain control over its lost territories.

The Order of Saint Rita―whose mission is to provide aid and mercy to those in need―bore witness to and defied Central Governance’s atrocities on the remote planet Phyosonga III. The sisters have been running ever since, staying under the radar while still trying to honor their calling.

Despite the sisters’ secrecy, the story of their defiance is spreading like wildfire, spearheaded by a growing anti-Earth religious movement calling for revolution. Faced with staying silent or speaking up, the Order of Saint Rita must decide the role they will play―and what hand they will have―in reshaping the galaxy.

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (Bisexual F/F Gothic)

the cover of Tripping Arcadia

Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.

By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.

The perfect next read for fans of Mexican GothicTripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.

Young Adult

Extasia by Claire Legrand (Sapphic YA Horror)

the cover of Extasia by Claire Legrand

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it. 

Graphic Novels

Monologue Woven For You, Vol. 1 by Syu Yasaka (Yuri Manga)

Monologue Woven For You, Vol. 1

A beautifully illustrated, full-color yuri love story at the intersection of two women’s conflicting passions.

Two women, one spotlight. Haruka has abandoned her dreams of the theater but finds herself still haunted by memories. Meanwhile, Nao chases her aspirations for the stage head-on, refusing to back down or let obstacles block her way.

After the lives of these two theater geeks cross, their aspirations will either form their friendship or fuel their rivalry. When romance sparks, which will prevail in the end: love…or the stage?

Poetry

Time Out of Time by Arleen Paré (Lesbian Poetry)

the cover of Time Out of Time

Award-winning poet Arleen Paré pays homage to the work of lesbian Syrian American poet Etel Adnan.

If books come from books, as David W. McFadden has claimed, then Time Out of Time is a clear example, arising, very deliberately as it does, out of Etel Adnan’s astonishing collection entitled Time. The poems in Time Out of Time are in love with the poems in Adnan’s Time and, it seems, Paré has fallen in love with Time’s author, Etel Adnan, the internationally renowned poet and painter—or perhaps it is that she has merely fallen in love with Adnan’s words. Paré’s poems mirror the form, the rhythm, the shape, the short, brief lines in her own spare missives that are the poems in Time. This mirroring increases the intensity of Time Out of Time, creating a rare intimacy in Paré’s collection. Paré’s work pays homage to Adnan’s work. Both collections pay homage to the world of the lesbian in the twenty-first century and to the world of the small poem. Using clear, crisp, well-defined language in visibly defined geometries, in “stanza after sweet-smelling stanza,” Paré attempts to examine the trials of this new century, the hush around the word lesbian, the hush of the world’s general collapse.

Nonfiction

Queer Data by Kevin Guyan (Queer Nonfiction)

the cover of Queer Data

Data has never mattered more. Our lives are increasingly shaped by it and how it is defined, collected and used. But who counts in the collection, analysis and application of data?

This important book is the first to look at queer data – defined as data relating to gender, sex, sexual orientation and trans identity/history. The author shows us how current data practices reflect an incomplete account of LGBTQ lives and helps us understand how data biases are used to delegitimise the everyday experiences of queer people.

Guyan demonstrates why it is important to understand, collect and analyse queer data, the benefits and challenges involved in doing so, and how we might better use queer data in our work. Arming us with the tools for action, this book shows how greater knowledge about queer identities is instrumental in informing decisions about resource allocation, changes to legislation, access to services, representation and visibility.

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

a collage of the covers listed and the text Sapphic New Releases: Bi & Lesbian Books Out This Week

Most of this week’s new releases are romance or romance-adjacent titles (lots of Bold Strokes Books titles) and some sequels, but there is a little bit of variety sprinkled throughout! Let me know in the comments which sapphic new releases you’re excited about this week, especially if it’s one I missed.

Fiction

Parallel Hells by Leon Craig (Queer Short Stories)

the cover of Parallel Hells

In this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human.

Some say that hell is other people and some say hell is loneliness . . .

In the thirteen darkly audacious stories of Parallel Hells we meet a golem, made of clay, learning that its powers far exceed its Creator’s expectations; a ruined mansion which grants the secret wishes of a group of revellers and a notorious murderer who discovers her Viking husband is not what he seems.

Asta is an ancient being who feasts on the shame of contemporary Londoners, who now, beyond anything, wishes only to fit in with a group of friends they will long outlive. An Oxford historian, in bitter competition with the rest of her faculty members, discovers an ancient tome whose sinister contents might solve her problems. Livia orchestrates a Satanic mass to distract herself from a recently remembered trauma and two lovers must resolve their differences in order to defy a lethal curse.

Romance

My Secret Valentine by Julie Cannon, Erin Dutton and Anne Shade (F/F Romance Anthology)

the cover of My Secret Valentine

Winning the heart of your secret Valentine? These award-winning authors agree—there is no better way to fall in love.

In I Met Someone by Julie Cannon: Hayes Martin shares everything with her BFF Claire Wheeler. Well, almost everything. Hayes has kept a secret from Claire for years, and she can’t take it anymore. Tonight is the night she comes clean and risks it all to gain everything she’s ever wanted.

In Taking a Risk by Erin Dutton: Police officer Jo Forsythe thinks she could find the love and family she’s been longing for with Kayla McCall. Kayla’s focused on running her business, and if she was looking for love, it wouldn’t be with Jo. Can Jo win the hearts of both Kayla and the small town that’s so protective of her?

In Bouquet of Love by Anne Shade: It’s been twenty-five years since English teacher Alyssa Harris was on the dating scene, but romance is too old-fashioned for love in the digital age. Tennis coach Collette Roberts doesn’t think so and sets out to sweep Alyssa off her feet.

Reading Her by Amanda Radley (F/F Romance)

the cover of Reading Her by Amanda Radley

Awkward teenager Hugo Whittaker doesn’t know a cross-trainer from an elliptical, but getting strong is the only way to fight off the bullies who won’t leave him alone. Lauren Evans loves her job as a fitness instructor, and she wants to guide him. Unfortunately, Hugo paid for his gym membership by stealing his mother’s credit card, and it doesn’t take his mother long to track down her wayward son.

In a courtroom, shrewd barrister Allegra Whittaker is unstoppable, but when it comes to her son Hugo, she’s afraid she’s losing her touch. She reluctantly allows him to continue using the gym as long as she can keep an eye on him—and his undeniably intriguing instructor.

As each encounter leaves them wanting more, Lauren and Allegra learn love and happiness are right where they least expect it. There’s just one little problem: Lauren has a huge secret she absolutely cannot tell anyone, and Allegra knows she’s hiding something.

Her Heart’s Desire by Anne Shade (F/F Romance)

the cover of Her Heart’s Desire by Anne Shade

Eve Monroe couldn’t ask for a better life. She’s free of an unhappy marriage, her event planning business is a success, and she’s surrounded by the love and support of her family. Then Lynette walks into her life and her intense dark eyes and easy charm have Eve longing for a love her heart has always desired, but she’s too afraid to admit to.

The last thing Lynette Folsom is looking for is love, especially with a closeted lesbian. She’s gone down that road before and has nothing but a broken heart to show for it. When she meets Eve, she begins to wonder if love behind closed doors can really work.

Two women. One choice. Will they be able to overcome their doubts and fears to embrace their deepest desire?

Enchanted Autumn by Ursula Klein (F/F Fantasy Romance)

the cover of Enchanted Autumn by

When Dr. Elizabeth Cowrie shows up in Salem, Massachusetts, to study the witch trials, Hazel and her best friend, Roxy, are both instantly attracted to the workaholic professor. Roxy snags a date with Elizabeth first, but when their chemistry fizzles out, Hazel sees an opportunity to pursue Elizabeth herself—until she realizes Elizabeth is avowedly antimagic.

That’s definitely a problem since Hazel is a bona fide witch: rides a broom, has a black cat, brews love potions, lives in a haunted house, and has a vampire ex-girlfriend. Roxy is the only person who knows the truth, and Hazel has gotten used to hiding who she is, but she can’t live a lie with the person she loves most. Can Hazel give up magic to make it work with Elizabeth? Or will she give up on the love of her life instead?

Watching Over Her by Ronica Black (F/F Romantic Thriller)

Watching Over Her cover

All Riley Robinson wants is peace and serenity. She can’t wait to spend the winter at her new cabin in snowy, remote Northern Arizona. On the way Riley meets Zoe Mitchell, a secretive woman whose barely hidden vulnerability captures her curiosity and sparks her interest.

Zoe was doing just fine until without warning she becomes the focus of a stalker. With no idea who is following her and desperate to shrug off the sense of being watched, Zoe takes off to her grandfather’s old cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin hasn’t been used in years, and the snowstorm of the century is moving in. Zoe has no intention of taking chances with a beautiful woman she’s just met, but she can’t turn down Riley’s offer of help and a warm place to take refuge.

As they face the storm and the looming threat of a stalker, Riley and Zoey just might find love in the most unexpected of places.

Deadly Secrets by VK Powell (F/F Romantic Thriller)

the cover of Deadly Secrets by VK Powell

Special Ops Agent Rafe Silva has always been a dedicated soldier, content in the military and jetting from one mission to the next. Her life is structured and clear of emotional entanglements until an old friend requests she provide protection for an industry whistle blower.

Jana Elliott had found her ideal career and a second home within the corporate environment of Alumicor until a coworker dies and Jana suspects the company is covering up a deadly secret. When she starts investigating, her boss quickly shuts her down. Jana is determined to uncover the truth even if it means risking her life. Her friend’s suggestion of a bodyguard seems like overkill, but then Rafe Silva shows up and their irresistible attraction changes everything.

Perilous Obsession by Carsen Taite (F/F Romantic Thriller)

the cover of Perilous Obsession

Detective Beck Ramsey is paying a stiff price for blowing the whistle on a fellow cop. Relegated to the always underfunded, often ignored cold case desk, she’s biding her time until she can escape long-forgotten lost causes and get back in the field.

Journalist Macy Moran digs deep on every story, but when her usually objective reporting turns into an unrelenting hunt for a serial killer, she risks losing her relationships, her career, and her reputation. Haunted by the memory of her best friend’s death, Macy is willing to put everything on the line until she meets the infuriating and captivating Beck Ramsey and somehow convinces her to reopen the coldest case on her desk.

As their plans and their hearts careen out of control, Macy’s obsession with a murderer will either bring her closer to Beck or rob her of a chance at true love.

Escorted by Renee Roman (F/F Erotica)

the cover of Escorted by Renee Roman

Are you looking for a night to remember? The Agency is your premium choice for sensual female companions who will always leave you satisfied.

Dani Brown has the kind of fantasies she can’t share with just anyone, let alone trust someone enough to make them come true. The Agency is a perfect solution—safe, secret, and best of all, no strings attached.

As the CEO of the Agency, Ryan Lewis has dashing good looks, a lucrative business, and as much kinky sex as she wants. She has it all, right? Everything except the one thing she most desires—true love.

Intrigued by Dani’s fantasies, Ryan takes her on as a client. Ryan is more than capable of giving Dani exactly what she craves, but when the tables turn and her control slips, will she be able to stay away from the woman of her fantasies?

Fantasy

Errant by L. K. Fleet (F/F Bisexual/Lesbian Fantasy)

the cover of Errant by L. K. Fleet

Aspen Silverglade used to be a force for good, but now she’s just a sword for hire. On the run from the people she once trusted most, she needs to keep her head down and keep moving.

But old habits are hard to quit. One night in a tavern, Aspen tries to save a woman from some unwanted attention. The woman, Charm Linville, is in the middle of a subtle and delicate act of thievery, and she does not appreciate Aspen blundering in.

The disastrous and public rescue-gone-wrong makes the townspeople think Aspen and Charm are a couple. This mistake sets Aspen’s bloodthirsty betrayers on Charm’s trail, tying the two of them together.

Even if Aspen can’t run from her past any longer, Charm shouldn’t have to suffer. Despite Aspen’s determination to work alone, Charm insists on helping—and she has a past of her own. The two of them don’t care for each other’s methods, but as they journey through the villages and wildernesses of Falland, solving problems and meeting magical friends and foes, Aspen and Charm grudgingly come to care for each other. Can these two guarded, stubborn women admit their feelings, or will Aspen’s enemies kill them first?

The Willing by Lyn Hemphill (F/F Fantasy)

the cover of The Willing

Kitty Wilson doesn’t know how, but she can bring people back from the dead as long as someone is willing to take their place and keep the universe in balance. Oxford student Talia McGregor’s life goes from bad to worse when she’s killed in a hit-and-run. When the drunk driver responsible agrees to sacrifice his life to save Talia’s, Kitty makes the trade and brings Talia back to life. Neither of them expects the ghost of Matt, Kitty’s BFF, to come back with her.

Kitty has to figure out how to untether Matt’s ghost from Talia and bring him back for good. In her quest to discover the extent of her magic, Kitty must confront a secret society with questionable motives and connections to tragedies in her past, and a magical bloodline she never knew was hers.

As the stakes and the spells rise, Kitty and Talia rely on each other to survive, but can they open their hearts and trust the magic of love?

The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2) by A. K. Larkwood (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of The Thousand Eyes

Just when they thought they were out…

Two years after defying the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and escaping into the great unknown, Csorwe and Shuthmili have made a new life for themselves, hunting for secrets among the ruins of an ancient snake empire.

Along for the ride is Tal Charossa, determined to leave the humiliation and heartbreak of his hometown far behind him, even if it means enduring the company of his old rival and her insufferable girlfriend.

All three of them would be quite happy never to see Sethennai again. But when a routine expedition goes off the rails and a terrifying imperial relic awakens, they find that a common enemy may be all it takes to bring them back into his orbit.

Science Fiction

Sisters of the Forsaken Stars (Our Lady of Endless Worlds #2) by Lina Rather (Queer Science Fiction)

the cover of Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

“We lit the spark, maybe we should be here for the flames.”

Not long ago, Earth’s colonies and space stations threw off the yoke of planet Earth’s tyrannical rule. Decades later, trouble is brewing in the Four Systems, and Old Earth is flexing its power in a bid to regain control over its lost territories.

The Order of Saint Rita―whose mission is to provide aid and mercy to those in need―bore witness to and defied Central Governance’s atrocities on the remote planet Phyosonga III. The sisters have been running ever since, staying under the radar while still trying to honor their calling.

Despite the sisters’ secrecy, the story of their defiance is spreading like wildfire, spearheaded by a growing anti-Earth religious movement calling for revolution. Faced with staying silent or speaking up, the Order of Saint Rita must decide the role they will play―and what hand they will have―in reshaping the galaxy.

Young Adult

The Moonstone Girls by Brooke Skipstone (Sapphic Historical YA)

the cover of The Moonstone Girls

Tracy should have been a boy. Even her older brother Spencer says so, though he wouldn’t finish the thought with, “And I should have been a girl.”

Though both feel awkward in their own skin, they have to face who they are—queers in the late 60s.

When both are caught with gay partners, their lives and futures are endangered by their homophobic father as their mother struggles to defend them.

While the Vietnam War threatens to take Spencer away, Tracy and her father wage a war of their own, each trying to save the sweet, talented pianist.

At seventeen, Tracy dresses as a boy and leaves her parents in turmoil, with only the slimmest hope of finding peace within herself. She journeys to a girl with a guitar, calling to her from a photo, “Come to Alaska. We’d be great friends.”

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.

Nonfiction

Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life by Gretchen Legler (Nonfiction)

the cover of Woodsqueer

“Woodsqueer” is sometimes used to describe the mindset of a person who has taken to the wild for an extended period of time. Gretchen Legler is no stranger to life away from the rapid-fire pace of the twenty-first century, which can often lead to a kind of stir-craziness. Woodsqueer chronicles her experiences intentionally focusing on not just making a living but making a life―in this case, an agrarian one more in tune with the earth on eighty acres in backwoods Maine.

Building a home with her partner, Ruth, on their farm means learning to live with solitude, endless trees, and the wild animals the couple come to welcome as family. Whether trying to outsmart their goats, calculating how much firewood they need for the winter, or bartering with neighbors for goods and services, they hone life skills brought with them (carpentry, tracking and hunting wild game) and other skills they learn along the way (animal husbandry, vegetable gardening, woodcutting).

Legler’s story is at times humbling and grueling, but it is also amusing. A homage to agrarian American life echoing the back-to-the-land movement popularized in the mid-twentieth century, Woodsqueer reminds us of the benefits of living close to the land. Legler unapologetically considers what we have lost in America, in less than a century―individually and collectively―as a result of our urban, mass-produced, technology-driven lifestyles.

Illustrated with rustic pen-and-ink illustrations, Woodsqueer shows the value of a solitary sojourn and both the pathway to and possibilities for making a sustainable, meaningful life on the land. The result, for Legler and her partner, is an evolution of their humanity as they become more physically, emotionally, and even spiritually connected to their land and each other in a complex ecosystem ruled by the changing seasons.

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48 Bi and Lesbian Books Out February 2022

a collage of the covers listed below with the text Bi and lesbian books out in February!

It’s not always easy to find out which books have queer representation, or what kind of representation they have. That’s why every month, I make a big list of bi and lesbian books out this month, sorted by genre. I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!

As always, if you can get these through an indie bookstore, that is ideal, but if you can’t, the titles and covers are linked to my Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, I’ll get a small percentage. On to the books!

Adult

Fiction

the cover of Parallel Hells

Parallel Hells by Leon Craig (Queer Short Stories)

In this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human.

Some say that hell is other people and some say hell is loneliness . . .

In the thirteen darkly audacious stories of Parallel Hells we meet a golem, made of clay, learning that its powers far exceed its Creator’s expectations; a ruined mansion which grants the secret wishes of a group of revellers and a notorious murderer who discovers her Viking husband is not what he seems.

Asta is an ancient being who feasts on the shame of contemporary Londoners, who now, beyond anything, wishes only to fit in with a group of friends they will long outlive. An Oxford historian, in bitter competition with the rest of her faculty members, discovers an ancient tome whose sinister contents might solve her problems. Livia orchestrates a Satanic mass to distract herself from a recently remembered trauma and two lovers must resolve their differences in order to defy a lethal curse.

the cover of Tripping Arcadia

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (Bisexual F/F Gothic)

From debut author Kit Mayquist, a propulsive and atmospheric modern Gothic with all the splendor of The Great Gatsby . . . and all the secrets, lies, and darkness that opulence can hide.

Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.

By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.

The perfect next read for fans of Mexican GothicTripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.

the cover of Getting Clean with Stevie Green

Romance

the cover of Count Your Lucky Stars

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (F/F Romance)

Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. She tried and it blew up in her face, so she’ll stick with casual hookups, thank you very much. But now her entire crew has found “the one” and she’s beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. And then fate (the heartless bitch) intervenes. While touring a wedding venue with her engaged friends, Margot comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything. It’s been ten years, but the moment they lock eyes, Margot’s cold, dead heart thumps in her chest.

Olivia must be hallucinating. In the decade since she last saw Margot, her life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. At almost thirty, she’s been married… and divorced. However, a wedding planner job in Seattle means a fresh start and a chance to follow her dreams. Never in a million years did she expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away.

When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room because she’s a Very Good Person. Obviously. It has nothing to do with the fact that Olivia is as beautiful as ever and the sparks between them still make Margot tingle. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. Olivia is everything she’s ever wanted, but Margot let her in once and it ended in disaster. Will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love? 

the cover of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (Bisexual and Lesbian Romance)

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
 
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
 
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…

the cover of My Secret Valentine
the cover of ​​Her Royal Happiness by Lola Keeley
the cover of Love Lessons in Starcross Valley
the cover of Beyond the Blue by TJ O'Shea
the cover of Reading Her by Amanda Radley
the cover of What’s Mine Is Yours by Willow Renee
the cover of Radiant by Judy Sapphire
the cover of Her Heart’s Desire by Anne Shade
the cover of Stud Like Her by Fiona Zedde
the cover of The Raven and the Banshee by Carolyn Elizabeth
the cover of Enchanted Autumn by
the cover of Luck Lines by Quinn Tollens
the cover of Escorted by Renee Roman

Mystery/Thrillers

the cover of The Verifiers

The Verifiers by Jane Pek (Sapphic Mystery)

Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing

Claudia is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she’s just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency. 
 
A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client vanishes, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

Watching Over Her cover

Watching Over Her by Ronica Black (F/F Romantic Thriller)

All Riley Robinson wants is peace and serenity. She can’t wait to spend the winter at her new cabin in snowy, remote Northern Arizona. On the way Riley meets Zoe Mitchell, a secretive woman whose barely hidden vulnerability captures her curiosity and sparks her interest.

Zoe was doing just fine until without warning she becomes the focus of a stalker. With no idea who is following her and desperate to shrug off the sense of being watched, Zoe takes off to her grandfather’s old cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin hasn’t been used in years, and the snowstorm of the century is moving in. Zoe has no intention of taking chances with a beautiful woman she’s just met, but she can’t turn down Riley’s offer of help and a warm place to take refuge.

As they face the storm and the looming threat of a stalker, Riley and Zoey just might find love in the most unexpected of places.

the cover of Legacy in the Blood by Catherine Maiorisi
the cover of Deadly Secrets by VK Powell
the cover of Perilous Obsession by Carsen Taite
the cover of Two Knights Tango

Fantasy

the cover of Errant by L. K. Fleet

Errant by L. K. Fleet (F/F Bisexual/Lesbian Fantasy)

Aspen Silverglade used to be a force for good, but now she’s just a sword for hire. On the run from the people she once trusted most, she needs to keep her head down and keep moving.

But old habits are hard to quit. One night in a tavern, Aspen tries to save a woman from some unwanted attention. The woman, Charm Linville, is in the middle of a subtle and delicate act of thievery, and she does not appreciate Aspen blundering in.

The disastrous and public rescue-gone-wrong makes the townspeople think Aspen and Charm are a couple. This mistake sets Aspen’s bloodthirsty betrayers on Charm’s trail, tying the two of them together.

Even if Aspen can’t run from her past any longer, Charm shouldn’t have to suffer. Despite Aspen’s determination to work alone, Charm insists on helping—and she has a past of her own. The two of them don’t care for each other’s methods, but as they journey through the villages and wildernesses of Falland, solving problems and meeting magical friends and foes, Aspen and Charm grudgingly come to care for each other. Can these two guarded, stubborn women admit their feelings, or will Aspen’s enemies kill them first?

the cover of Scorpica

Scorpica (The Five Queendoms #1) by G.R. Macallister (Sapphic Fantasy)

A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

the cover of Tracking Trouble by Aldrea Alien
the cover of The Willing by Lyn Hemphill
the cover of The Thousand Eyes
the cover of The Wall by Sarah Jane Singer

Science Fiction

the cover of Bluebird

Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot (Lesbian Sci Fi)

Lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space!

Three factions vie for control of the galaxy. Rig, a gunslinging, thieving, rebel with a cause, doesn’t give a damn about them and she hasn’t looked back since abandoning her faction three years ago. 

That is, until her former faction sends her a message: return what she stole from them, or they’ll kill her twin sister.

Rig embarks on a journey across the galaxy to save her sister – but for once she’s not alone. She has help from her network of resistance contacts, her taser-wielding librarian girlfriend, and a mysterious bounty hunter.

If Rig fails and her former faction finds what she stole from them, trillions of lives will be lost–including her sister’s. But if she succeeds, she might just pull the whole damn faction system down around their ears. Either way, she’s going to do it with panache and pizzazz.

the cover of Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

the cover of Crema

Crema by by Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz (F/F Fantasy Graphic Novel)

#1 New York Times Bestselling cartoonist Johnnie Christmas and Prism Award Nominee Dante Luiz bring you a haunted tale of love, ghosts, and coffee beans.

Esme, a barista, feels invisible, like a ghost… also, when Esme drinks too much coffee she actually sees ghosts.

Yara, the elegant heir to a coffee plantation, is always seen, but only has eyes for Esme.

Their world is turned upside down when the strange ghost of an old-world nobleman begs Esme to take his letter from New York City to a haunted coffee farm in Brazil, to reunite him with his lost love of a century ago. Bringing sinister tidings of unrequited love.

Collects the ComiXology original digital graohic novel Crema in print for the first time.

 the cover of 5 Seconds Before a Witch Falls in Love

5 Seconds Before a Witch Falls in Love by Zeniko Sumiya (F/F Fantasy Manga)

A magical enemies-to-lovers yuri romcom!

Solitary witch Meg likes to be mischievous and make trouble in the forest for her nemesis, Lilith the Witch Hunter. But when an altercation goes sideways and Meg turns Lilith into a cat, a cascade of unfortunate events means witch is now responsible for saving witch-hunter! Sparks were flying between these antagonistic ladies before–what will their relationship be like after this cat-astrophe?…

the cover of I'm in Love with the Villainess Vol. 2 by Inori and Aonoshimo
the cover of Hello, Melancholic! Vol. 1 by Yayoi Ohsawa
the cover of How Do We Relationship? Vol. 5 by Tamifull

Young Adult

YA Contemporary

the cover of No Filter and Other Lies

No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado (F/F YA Contemporary)

You should know, right now, that I’m a liar. 
 
They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.

But they’re still lies.

Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.              

Except it’s all fake.          

Max is actually 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence—just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love.

But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get—texting, Snapping, and even calling—the more Kat feels she has to keep up the façade.

But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.   

But it might already be too late.

the cover of Ophelia After All

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love―and sexuality―never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

YA Mystery/Thrillers

the cover of Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Cold by Mariko Tamaki (Bisexual YA Contemporary)

Who was Todd Mayer, and why don’t any of his fellow students at Albright Academy seem to know, or want to say, anything about him?

Todd Mayer is dead. Now a ghost, hovering over his body, recently discovered in a snow covered park, naked and frozen. As detectives investigate Todd’s homicide, talking to the very people linked to the events leading to his death, Todd replays the choice that led him to his end.

Georgia didn’t know Todd. But ever since she heard about his death, she can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe because they’re both outcasts at their school, or because they’re both queer. Maybe because the story of Todd people keep telling feels like a lot of fake stories Georgia has heard people tell. Plus Georgia has a feeling she’s seen Todd somewhere before, somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be.

Told through the voices of Todd in his afterlife and Georgia as she uncovers the truth behind his death, Cold is an immersive, emotional, and provocative read.

the cover of Murder of Crows by K Ancrum

YA Horror

the cover of Extasia by Claire Legrand

Extasia by Claire Legrand (Sapphic YA Horror)

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it. 

YA Fantasy

the cover of From Dust, a Flame

From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

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

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

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

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

the cover of Fire Becomes Her

Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor (Demiromantic Bisexual YA Fantasy)

In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

YA Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

the cover of The Greatest Thing

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle (Sapphic YA Graphic Novel)

This tender YA comic is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends who are ready to graduate to their first teen graphic novel.

It’s the first day of sophomore year, and now that Winifred’s two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, she must navigate high school on her own.

But she isn’t alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. The three bond through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing. Winifred is finally breaking out of her shell, but there’s one secret she can’t bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself―and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.

With breathtaking art and honest storytelling, rising star Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a heartfelt story about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.

the cover of Pixels of You

Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, and J.R. Doyle (Sapphic YA Sci Fi Graphic Novel)

A human and human-presenting AI slowly become friends—and maybe more—in this moving YA graphic novel

In a near future, augmentation and AI changed everything and nothing. Indira is a human girl who has been cybernetically augmented after a tragic accident, and Fawn is one of the first human-presenting AI. They have the same internship at a gallery, but neither thinks much of the other’s photography. But after a huge public blowout, their mentor gives them an ultimatum: work together on a project or leave her gallery forever. Grudgingly, the two begin to collaborate, and what comes out of it is astounding and revealing for both of them. 

Pixels of You is about the slow transformation of a rivalry to a friendship to something more as Indira and Fawn navigate each other, the world around them—and what it means to be an artist and a person.

Nonfiction

the cover of Woodsqueer

Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life by Gretchen Legler (Nonfiction)

“Woodsqueer” is sometimes used to describe the mindset of a person who has taken to the wild for an extended period of time. Gretchen Legler is no stranger to life away from the rapid-fire pace of the twenty-first century, which can often lead to a kind of stir-craziness. Woodsqueer chronicles her experiences intentionally focusing on not just making a living but making a life―in this case, an agrarian one more in tune with the earth on eighty acres in backwoods Maine.

Building a home with her partner, Ruth, on their farm means learning to live with solitude, endless trees, and the wild animals the couple come to welcome as family. Whether trying to outsmart their goats, calculating how much firewood they need for the winter, or bartering with neighbors for goods and services, they hone life skills brought with them (carpentry, tracking and hunting wild game) and other skills they learn along the way (animal husbandry, vegetable gardening, woodcutting).

Legler’s story is at times humbling and grueling, but it is also amusing. A homage to agrarian American life echoing the back-to-the-land movement popularized in the mid-twentieth century, Woodsqueer reminds us of the benefits of living close to the land. Legler unapologetically considers what we have lost in America, in less than a century―individually and collectively―as a result of our urban, mass-produced, technology-driven lifestyles.

Illustrated with rustic pen-and-ink illustrations, Woodsqueer shows the value of a solitary sojourn and both the pathway to and possibilities for making a sustainable, meaningful life on the land. The result, for Legler and her partner, is an evolution of their humanity as they become more physically, emotionally, and even spiritually connected to their land and each other in a complex ecosystem ruled by the changing seasons.

the cover of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way by Nancy Spain

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Lesbrary Links: “Quiet” LGBTQ Book Censorship, 1920s Sapphic Lit, and More

a collage of the covers below with the text Lesbrary Links: Bi & Lesbian Lit News & Reviews

I follow hundreds of queer book blogs to scout out the best sapphic book news and reviews! Many of them get posted on Tumblr and Twitter as I discover them, but my favourites get saved for these link compilations. Here are some of the posts I’ve found interesting in the last few weeks.

the cover of An ABC of Equality board book
the cover of The Queer Bible
the cover of Heather Has Two Mommies
the cover of Perfect on Paper
the cover of Sailor Moon Vol 8

LGBTQIA+ Books Are Under Attack as More Bills and Bans Take Them Out of Libraries and Classrooms—Here’s How Community Members Are Fighting Back.

On that note: Librarians Fight Back Against Efforts to Ban Books in Schools.

Ridgeland, Mississippi mayor Gene McGee is withholding $110,000 from the library system until all “homosexual materials” are removed. You can help raise funds for them. (One Ridgeland woman spoke out about how LGBTQ books in the library helped her get through being a gay teen.)

LGBTQ+ books are being quietly pulled from Washington State Middle School.

Here’s how Sailor Moon was censored in the U.S., including in making the lesbian couple cousins (yikes).

the cover of The Weight of the Stars
Shadow Life cover
the cover of Butter Honey Pig Bread
the cover of Nevada by Imogen Binnie
the cover of The Last Nude

ReadOut: A Festival of Lesbian Literature is taking place on Zoom February 18-20.

The nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards have been announced, including for comics.

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian shared her favourite reads of 2021.

Here are best queer books Book Rioter Laura Sackton discovered from doing the Read Harder challenge.

Read these sapphic novels set in the 1920s.

This list of books with adorable lesbian characters also has a flow chart for what to read next.

The Circus Infinite
the cover of Stray City
the cover of Ascension
the cover of Major Surgery by Lola Keeley
the cover of Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

Read these queer space opera books.

Here are 8 queer punk and counterculture books set in the 90s.

This Short Fiction Playlist features five queer stories that find humor in sad places.

Try these 14 F/F medical romances to raise your heart rate.

These sapphic slow burn romances are also on sale.

the cover of Nona the Ninth
the cover of Last Night at the Telegraph Club
the cover of Written on the Body
Fiona and Jane cover
the cover of The Last One

The cover for Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir has been revealed!

Carmen Maria Machado is coming out with a new short story collection!

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo was named a Printz honor, the Stonewall Book Award Young Adult winner, and won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Youth Literature category at the ALA Youth Media Awards.

Melissa Febos wrote about the gift of reading Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson as a teenager.

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho was reviewed at the Washington Blade.

The Last One by Fatima Daas was reviewed at the Guardian.

This post has the covers linked to their Amazon pages. If you click through and buy something, I might get a small referral fee. For even more links, check out the Lesbrary’s Twitter! We’re also on FacebookGoodreadsYoutube and Tumblr.

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon at $2 or more a month and be entered to win a queer women book every month, plus $10 and up patrons get guaranteed books throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

a collage of the covers listed below with the text Sapphic New Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week

January is a pretty slow publishing month, but there are still some great sapphic books coming out this week! Here are some that should be on your radar. Which of these are going on your To Be Read list?

Manywhere: Stories by Morgan Thomas (Queer and Trans Short Stories)

the cover of Manywhere

The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, whatever the cost. As Thomas’s subjects trace deceit and violence through Southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.

A trans woman finds her independence with the purchase of a pregnancy bump; a young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themself in the life of an intersex person from Colonial-era Jamestown. A writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag, and in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.

Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories resound across centuries. With warm, meticulous emotional intelligence, Morgan Thomas uncovers how the stories we borrow to understand ourselves in turn shape the people we become. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, Manywhere introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.

[includes a lesbian story]

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia H. Higgins (F/F Romance)

the cover of D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.

Their whole relationship is fake.

Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.

But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen (F/F Sci Fi)

the cover of Light Years From Home

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

The perfect combination of action, imagination and heart, Light Years from Home is a touching drama about a challenge as difficult as saving the galaxy: making peace with your family…and yourself.

Seven Mercies (Seven Devils #2) by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May (Sapphic Sci Fi)

the cover of Seven Mercies

The second book in a feminist space opera duology that follows the team of seven rebels who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire–or die trying.

After an ambush leaves the Novantae resistance in tatters, the survivors scatter across the galaxy. Wanted by two great empires, the bounty on any rebel’s head is enough to make a captor filthy rich. And the seven devils? Biggest score of them all. To avoid attacks, the crew of Zelus scavenge for supplies on long-abandoned Tholosian outposts.

Not long after the remnants of the rebellion settle briefly on Fortuna, Ariadne gets a message with unimaginable consequences: the Oracle has gone rogue. In a planned coup against the Empire’s new ruler, the AI has developed a way of mass programming citizens into mindless drones. The Oracle’s demand is simple: the AI wants One’s daughter back at any cost.

Time for an Impossible to Infiltrate mission: high chance of death, low chance of success. The devils will have to use their unique skills, no matter the sacrifice, and pair up with old enemies. Their plan? Get to the heart of the Empire. Destroy the Oracle. Burn it all to the ground.

Into the Midnight Void (Beyond the Ruby Veil #2) by Mara Fitzgerald (Lesbian YA Fantasy)

the cover of Into the Midnight Void

Emanuela has finally gotten what she’s always wanted. Since escaping her catacomb prison, she’s become the supreme ruler of everything under the veils. Finally, she has the power to throw aside senseless, old traditions and run things exactly the way they should be. 

But when cracks in her magic start to show, Emanuela begrudgingly allies herself with her enemies, including her frustratingly alluring archnemesis, Verene. Together, they discover deeper truths about the mysterious blood magic Emanuela and Verene both wield. There is a higher, otherworldly authority outside the veils, and in order to save Occhia and the other realms, Emanuela may just have to rip another crown off someone’s head. 

The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection by Yuama (Yuri Manga)

the cover of The Girl I Want Is So Handsome

First-year high schooler Hina falls head over heels in love at her first glimpse of Shiki, a gorgeous, cool older girl with mad basketball skills.

But when she tries to confess her feelings, she ends up as the basketball team’s manager instead.

It seems like a huge blunder until she realizes it’s the perfect chance to get to know Shiki better.

Will Hina and Shiki overcome their comical misunderstandings and realize they’re the perfect couple?

Read the whole hilarious story in one omnibus volume!

Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy by Rachel Krantz (Bisexual Polyamorous Memoir)

the cover of Open

Can we have both freedom and love? Comfort and lust? Is a relationship ever equal? And is the pleasure worth the pain?
 
When Rachel Krantz met and fell for Adam, he told her that he was looking for a committed partnership—just one that did not include exclusivity. Intrigued and more than a little nervous, Rachel decided to see whether their love could coexist with the freedom to date other people. Could they strike an exquisite balance between intimacy and independence, and find a way to feel passion for one another once the honeymoon phase ended?
 
For Open, her extraordinary debut memoir, Rachel interviewed scientists, psychologists, and people living and loving outside the mainstream as she searched to understand what non-monogamy would do to her heart, her mind, and her life. From exploring Brooklyn sex parties to the wider swinger and polyamory communities, Rachel and Adam attempt to write a new plot for their love story. But they also run up against miscommunications, ancient power dynamics, and seeming betrayals that threaten their love. In these pages, Rachel casts new light on the unique ways coercion and gaslighting manifest in open relationships, and finds herself wondering what liberation really looks like.
 
With an unflinching eye and page-turning storytelling, Open is groundbreaking in both its documentarian approach and its explicit subject matter. From debilitating anxiety spirals to heart-opening connections with the men and women she dates, Rachel puts her whole self on the line as she attempts to redefine what a relationship is—or could be.

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