New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out June 14, 2022!

First, I have to mention that I somehow left off some of my most-anticipated new releases from my June Sapphic New Releases post! I don’t know how that happened. So I’ve added them into the post, but I also wanted to highlight them here, because I think you’ll want to see them!

New Releases From Last Week I Missed!

the cover of Buffalo is the New Buffalo

Buffalo is the New Buffalo: Stories by Chelsea Vowel (Queer Métis Futurism Short Stories)

“Education is the new buffalo” is a metaphor widely used among Indigenous peoples in Canada to signify the importance of education to their survival and ability to support themselves, as once Plains nations supported themselves as buffalo peoples. The assumption is that many of the pre-Contact ways of living are forever gone, so adaptation is necessary. But Chelsea Vowel asks, “Instead of accepting that the buffalo, and our ancestral ways, will never come back, what if we simply ensure that they do?”

Inspired by classic and contemporary speculative fiction, Buffalo Is the New Buffalo explores science fiction tropes through a Métis lens: a Two-Spirit rougarou (shapeshifter) in the nineteenth century tries to solve a murder in her community and joins the nêhiyaw-pwat (Iron Confederacy) in order to successfully stop Canadian colonial expansion into the West. A Métis man is gored by a radioactive bison, gaining super strength, but losing the ability to be remembered by anyone not related to him by blood. Nanites babble to babies in Cree, virtual reality teaches transformation, foxes take human form and wreak havoc on hearts, buffalo roam free, and beings grapple with the thorny problem of healing from colonialism.

Indigenous futurisms seek to discover the impact of colonization, remove its psychological baggage, and recover ancestral traditions. These eight short stories of Métis futurism explore Indigenous existence and resistance through the specific lens of being Métis. Expansive and eye-opening, Buffalo Is the New Buffalo rewrites our shared history in provocative and exciting ways.

the cover of Vera Kelly: Lost and Found

Vera Kelly: Lost and Found by Rosalie Knecht (Lesbian Historical Thriller)

Everyone’s favorite sleuth―Vera Kelly―is back and put to the test as she searches for her missing girlfriend.

It’s spring 1971 and Vera Kelly and her girlfriend, Max, leave their cozy Brooklyn apartment for an emergency visit to Max’s estranged family in Los Angeles. Max’s parents are divorcing―her father is already engaged to a much younger woman and under the sway of an occultist charlatan; her mother has left their estate in a hurry with no indication of return. Max, who hasn’t seen her family since they threw her out at the age of twenty-one, prepares for the trip with equal parts dread and anger. 

Upon arriving, Vera is shocked by the size and extravagance of the Comstock estate―the sprawling, manicured landscape; expansive and ornate buildings; and garages full of luxury cars reveal a privileged upbringing that, up until this point, Max had only hinted at―while Max attempts to navigate her father, who is hostile and controlling, and the occultist, St. James, who is charming but appears to be siphoning family money. Tensions boil over at dinner when Max threatens to alert her mother―and her mother’s lawyers―to St. James and her father’s plans using marital assets. The next morning, when Vera wakes up, Max is gone.

In Vera Kelly Lost and Found, Rosalie Knecht gives Vera her highest-stake case yet, as Vera quickly puts her private detective skills to good use and tracks a trail of breadcrumbs across southern California to find her missing girlfriend. She travels first to a film set in Santa Ynez and, ultimately, to a most unlikely destination where Vera has to decide how much she is willing to commit to save the woman she loves.  

the cover of Home Field Advantage

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler (F/F Lesbian and Queer/Polysexual YA Contemporary)

Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.

Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.

[Check out my review for HFA!]

the cover of Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

Head-in-the-clouds romantic Madison and driven pragmatist Lanie are unlikely best friends, but the two would do anything for each other. So when Madison’s life starts to fall apart, Lanie agrees to join Madison for the test run of Disney’s newest resort experience during their first college spring break: Happily Ever Island―an immersive vacation destination, where guests can become their favorite Disney character for a week. Madison decides to go as the iconic princess herself, Cinderella, with Lanie as bow-wielding Merida. It’s not Lanie’s idea of fun, but she knows Madison needs her, and besides, she could use the break from her strenuous courseload anyway. Plus, maybe she’ll get to shoot things.

But once on the island, Lanie and Madison begin to drift apart. Madison finds herself either missing out or messing up all the enchanting moments she has dreamt her whole life about, and is forever running into their annoyingly perfect (and distractingly cute) vacation’s coordinator, Val. Meanwhile, Lanie unexpectedly finds herself swept up in the magic of it all. She strikes up a secret romance with Prince Charming―but there’s no telling whether he’s just playing a part.

In this delightful YA rom-com inspired by Disney fandom, get swept up in a whirlwind of laughter, tears, and more than just a touch of Disney magic.

Fiction

Island Time by Georgia Clark (Sapphic Fiction)

the cover of Island Time by Georgia Clark

The Kellys are messy, loud, loving Australians. The Lees are sophisticated, aloof, buttoned-up Americans. They have nothing in common…except for the fact that their daughters are married. When a nearby volcano erupts during their short vacation to a remote tropical island off the coast of Queensland, the two families find themselves stranded together for six weeks.

With only two island employees making up the rest of their party, everyone is forced to question what—or who—they really want. Island Time is a sumptuous summer read that dives deep into queer romance, family secrets, ambition, parenthood, and a bird-chasing bromance. This sexy, sun-soaked paradise of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforest will show you it’s never too late to change your destiny.

Body Grammar by Jules Ohman (Sapphic Fiction)

the cover of Body Grammar

A coming-of-age queer love story set in the glamorous but grueling world of international modeling—a “terrific debut … roiling with deep questions of identity and art, love, and the irrepressible need for meaning in life” (Jess Walter, bestselling author of The Cold Millions)

By the time Lou turns eighteen, modeling agents across Portland have scouted her for her striking androgynous look. Lou has no interest in fashion or being in the spotlight. She prefers to take photographs, especially of Ivy, her close friend and secret crush.
 
But when a hike ends in a tragic accident, Lou finds herself lost and ridden with guilt. Determined to find a purpose, Lou moves to New York and steps into the dizzying world of international fashion shows, haute couture, and editorial shoots. It’s a whirlwind of learning how to walk and how to command a body she’s never felt at ease in. But in the limelight, Lou begins to fear that she’s losing her identity—as an individual, as an artist, and as a person still in love with the girl she left behind. 
 
A sharply observed and intimate story of grief and healing, doubt and self-acceptance set against the hyper-image-conscious industry of modeling and high fashion, Body Grammar shines with the anxieties of finding your place in the world and the heartbreaking beauty of pursuing love. 

Romance

Forever Comes in Threes by D. Jackson Leigh (F/F Romance)

Forever Comes in Threes cover

Efficiency expert Perry Chandler lives what she preaches on her internationally popular podcast. She wakes at exactly the same time to begin her precisely scheduled day with no wasted minutes. Perry’s entire life is planned in advance, which is exactly how she likes it. How else do you get anything done?

Holistic, naturopathic physician Ming Lee greets every sunrise with arms outstretched as she opens herself to the earth’s slow, steady rhythm. Millions follow her podcast on how to live a healthier life by refusing to get caught up in the idea you must hustle to be successful. After all, what’s the point of life if you don’t enjoy it?

Perry and Ming are both sure they hold the key to success until the attraction sizzling between them, and the three rambunctious mutts they’re unexpectedly responsible for, teach them lessons in life and love that they never imagined.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

A Song of Silver and Gold by Melissa Karibian (Sapphic Fantasy Retelling of The Little Mermaid)

the cover of A Song of Silver and Gold

A sapphic Little Mermaid retelling perfect for fans of To Kill a Kingdom and The Shadows Between Us.

Out in the open sea, it’s kill or be killed. No one knows that better than Kaelyn. For the past year, Princess Kaelyn of Avalon has disguised herself as a man, Captain Kae, and led her crew into tumultuous waters to eradicate sirens on a journey fueled by revenge for the death of her brother. When they return home and experience a fatal siren attack on Avalon’s harbor, Kae sets sail again to destroy the sea demons once and for all.

Aqeara is a siren warrior of Meyrial, an underwater kingdom hidden from humans. When her negligence during the Avalon harbor attack causes the death of Meyrial’s princess, she accepts the help of a sea witch to overturn her banishment. Aqeara is given a human body and has until the next full moon to carve out Captain Kae’s heart in exchange for a spell to bring the dead princess back to life.

When Kae’s and Aqeara’s paths cross, they fall into a whirlwind romance, complicating their respective plans. Kae must decide whether her desire for revenge against sirens overrides her feelings for the woman she’s falling for, and Aqeara must choose between resurrecting the dead princess or sparing Kae’s life.

the cover of The Dawnhounds

The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach (Sapphic Fantasy)

Gideon the Ninth meets Black Sun in this queer, Māori-inspired debut fantasy.

The port city of Hainak is alive: its buildings, its fashion, even its weapons. But, after a devastating war and a sweeping biotech revolution, all its inhabitants want is peace, no one more so than Yat Jyn-Hok a reformed-thief-turned-cop who patrols the streets at night.

Yat has recently been demoted on the force due to “lifestyle choices” after being caught at a gay club. She’s barely holding it together, haunted by memories of a lover who vanished and voices that float in and out of her head like radio signals. When she stumbles across a dead body on her patrol, two fellow officers gruesomely murder her and dump her into the harbor. Unfortunately for them, she wakes up.

Resurrected by an ancient power, she finds herself with the new ability to manipulate life force. Quickly falling in with the pirate crew who has found her, she must race against time to stop a plague from being unleashed by the evil that has taken root in Hainak.

Young Adult

The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of The Dawnhounds

Gideon the Ninth meets Black Sun in this queer, Māori-inspired debut fantasy.

The port city of Hainak is alive: its buildings, its fashion, even its weapons. But, after a devastating war and a sweeping biotech revolution, all its inhabitants want is peace, no one more so than Yat Jyn-Hok a reformed-thief-turned-cop who patrols the streets at night.

Yat has recently been demoted on the force due to “lifestyle choices” after being caught at a gay club. She’s barely holding it together, haunted by memories of a lover who vanished and voices that float in and out of her head like radio signals. When she stumbles across a dead body on her patrol, two fellow officers gruesomely murder her and dump her into the harbor. Unfortunately for them, she wakes up.

Resurrected by an ancient power, she finds herself with the new ability to manipulate life force. Quickly falling in with the pirate crew who has found her, she must race against time to stop a plague from being unleashed by the evil that has taken root in Hainak.

Comics

Crush & Lobo by Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan (Sapphic Graphic Novel)

the cover of Crush and Lobo

Crush has quit the Teen Titans and realizes it’s time to finally confront her old man in prison. She needs to prove to herself that she’s nothing like him…and she’s gonna do that by bounty hunting Lobo across space. Like father, like daughter? Like hell!
 
Winner: GLAAD Media Awards 2022 Outstanding Comic Book


Crush recently walked away from her classmates at the Roy Harper Titans Academy and effectively quit being a Teen Titan in a blaze of glory. Her relationship with her too-good-to-be-true girlfriend, Katie, is kind of on the rocks. She recently found out Lobo’s in space jail, but that’s cool, because he’s the worst. Now it’s time for the Main Man’s daughter to go to space and confront her dad and all her problems.

Children’s Books

ABC Pride by Louie Stowell and Elly Barnes (LGBTQ Picture Book)

the cover of ABC Pride

A is for Acceptance! ! B is for Belonging! ! C is for Celebrate!

ABC Pride introduces little readers to the alphabet through the colorful world of Pride. Children can discover letters and words while also learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community and how to be inclusive.

Every letter of the alphabet is paired with fun, bold illustrations to support language learning, and a handy list of discussion points at the end gives adults the tools to spark further conversations and discussion. 
 
ABC Pride offers a simple yet powerful way to explain gender, identity, ability to children, while supporting diverse family units. Ideal for children to explore together with a caregiver, or in the classroom.

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

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