Monday, December 17, 2018

Booklist calls "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" "Compelling," "Intriguing and Readable"!

I'm so delighted to have a Booklist review of my novel — by Michael Cart. (It was published in their September 15, 2018 issue, but I missed it and only just found out!)

Here's the awesome pull quote from the review:


Hurray!

I hope this helps convince many more librarians to bring "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" into their libraries to empower their young LGBTQ and Allied patrons.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Friday, December 14, 2018

P.S. I Miss You - A Book in Letters, Written by 11-Year-Old Evie to her sent-away-for-being-pregnant older sister... and in those letters, Evie writes about the crush she has on another girl



P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy

Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters.

Evie writes about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend.

Evie could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn’t writing back, and it’s time for Evie to take matters into her own hands.

Add your review of "P.S. I Miss You" in comments!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The GSA Reading Group Challenge for "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" – Win 10 Free Copies for your Students – Enter Now!



Good news!

Thanks to a generous donation, I have 90 paperback copies of "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" to donate... and will be giving them to nine different high school Gay-Straight Alliance groups!

To enter, follow these steps:

1) Get ten members of your high school GSA to commit to reading "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" this 2018-2019 school year, and schedule a meeting when you'll discuss the book.

2) Have the GSA's faculty or parent advisor email me at
leewind (at) roadrunner (dot) com
with the name of your school and mailing address.

3) Be one of the first eight* high school GSAs to contact me and you'll win the ten free copies! (I'll cover shipping costs inside the U.S. If you're an international school, you'll have to cover shipping.)

*Why eight? Because the Gay Straight Alliance at Pali High in Pacific Palisades, California, was the first group to get ten free copies!

Will your school's GSA be next? I hope so—good luck!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee


Friday, December 7, 2018

The Audiobook of "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" is Available!

Hello Community,

I'm really excited about the audiobook version of my debut YA novel "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill." The book has been named a BookLife Award Semi-Finalist, making it one of Publishers Weekly's Top Five Independently Published Titles of 2018!


Wyatt is 15, and nobody in his homophobic small town of Lincolnville, Oregon, knows that he’s gay. Not even his best friend (and accidental girlfriend) Mackenzie. Then he discovers a secret from actual history: Abraham Lincoln was in love with another guy! Since everyone loves Lincoln, Wyatt’s sure that if the world knew about it, they would treat gay people differently, and it would solve everything about his life. So Wyatt outs Lincoln online, triggering a media firestorm that threatens to destroy everything he cares about - and he has to pretend more than ever that he’s straight.... Only then he meets Martin, who is openly gay and who just might be the guy Wyatt’s been hoping to find.

The audiobook includes a bonus interview with the author Lee Wind by multi-award-winning author Lesléa Newman. If you loved the movie Love, Simon and the audiobook Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you're bound to love Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill - also narrated by Michael Crouch!

You can listen to the first two chapters here:



The "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" audiobook is now available at these online retailers:

Audible - https://www.audible.com/pd/Queer-as-a-Five-Dollar-Bill-Audiobook/B07KRP2C89?qid=1544156028

Audiobooks.com - https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/queer-as-a-five-dollar-bill/360622

Downpour - https://www.downpour.com/queer-as-a-five-dollar-bill?sp=292457

The Audiobook Store - https://audiobookstore.com/audiobooks/queer-as-a-five-dollar-bill.aspx

Libro.fm - https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781732228139-queer-as-a-five-dollar-bill

Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details?id=AQAAAEBMqknqFM&hl=en_AU

The audiobook will be available soon on Hoopla, Overdrive, Nook Audiobook, Sribd, and Barnes & Noble.


My thanks to Becky Parker Geist and the team at ProAudio Voices, and especially to narrator Michael Crouch for doing an incredible job bringing Wyatt and the whole story to life. And my gratitude extends as well to the legendary Lesléa Newman, who was so kind — she interviewed me for a special bonus section at the end of the audiobook!

Download the audiobook version of "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill," and/or ask your library to carry it, and give it a listen. I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

You Know Me Well - A Teen Girl in Love with Another Girl. A Teen Boy in Love with Another Boy. And One Wild Night.



You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Add your review of "You Know Me Well" in comments!

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza - A Crush on Another Girl, Miracles, and, Maybe, The End of The World



The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.

This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.

Add your review of "The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza" in comments!

Friday, November 30, 2018

"Ghosts and Ashes" and "Zenith Dreams" - Books 2 and 3 in F.T. Lukens' Gay Teen Science Fiction Series, Broken Moon



"Ghosts and Ashes" by F.T. Lukens

Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.

Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he finds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.


"Zenith Dreams"

In the Broken Moon series finale, Ren, a technopathic star host in search of his lost brother, wakes from life-threatening injuries to discover his love, Asher, has returned to his position with the Phoenix Corps. Aboard the private trading ship, the Star Stream, the crew informs Ren the draconian Corps leaders believe he's dead. No longer hunted for his powers, he has an opportunity to disappear, but Ren is determined to fix his mistakes. He convinces the crew to join him for one last dangerous mission: Find Asher, free his brother Liam, and escape the Corps' reach forever. But a war is brewing between two formidable armies, and Ren is drawn into the conflict. With friends by his side, Ren must make a choice, and it will affect the future of his found family--and the whole star cluster--forever.

Add your review of "Ghost and Ashes" and/or "Zenith Dreams" in comments! 

Read about book one in this series, "The Star Host" here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ashes to Asheville - Sisters mourn the loss of one of their two moms, and an impulsive road trip helps them rediscover the bonds that make them Family



Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley

After Mama Lacy’s death, Fella (age 12) was forced to move in with her grandmother, Mrs. Madison. The move brought Fella all sorts of comforts she wasn't used to at home, but it also meant saying goodbye to her sister Zoey (a.k.a. Zany, age 16) and her other mother, Mama Shannon. Though Mama Shannon fought hard to keep Fella, it was no use. The marriage act is still a few years away and the courts thought Fella would be better off with a blood relation. Already heartbroken, Fella soon finds herself alone in Mrs. Madison's house, grieving both the death of her mother and the loss of her entire family.

Then one night, Zany shows up at Mrs. Madison’s house determined to fulfill Mama Lacy’s dying wish: to have her ashes spread over the lawn of the last place they were all happy as a family. Of course, this means stealing Mama Lacy’s ashes and driving hundreds of miles in the middle of night to Asheville, North Carolina. Their adventure takes one disastrous turn after another, but their impulsive journey helps them rediscover the bonds that truly make them sisters.

Add your review of "Ashes to Asheville" in comments!

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Jack & Louisa", Acts 1, 2, and 3 - a middle grade series about theater, and boys and girls crushing on boys, and life in and out of the spotlight



Jack & Louisa, Act 1 by Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Kate Wetherhead, illustrated by Ben Kirchner

Twelve-year-old Jack Goodrich was a Broadway star, with two shows under his belt and a third in rehearsals. But when his voice suddenly changes, Jack and his parents leave the spotlight and move far from New York City to Shaker Heights, Ohio. While Jack hopes to leave his Broadway past behind, his new neighbor refuses to let him off the hook. Louisa is a self-proclaimed "musical theater nerd" and can hardly believe when an actor moves to town. What's more, the local theater has announced auditions for her favorite show, Into the Woods. As the audition date looms nearer, the two are faced with difficult choices. Should Jack risk humiliation and return to the stage? Will Louisa have confidence to go it alone? And can friendship survive all those complicated octave leaps?




Jack & Louisa, Act 2

Shaker Heights Middle School is putting on Guys and Dolls and best friends Jack and Lou are hoping to get lead roles. But a mysterious new director soon arrives to town and threatens to meddle with their dreams. Is Shaker Heights big enough for two Broadway legends?



Jack & Louisa, Act 3

Two weeks at Camp Curtain-Up is just what Jack and Louisa need to fuel their passion for theater: Broadway musical sing-alongs, outdoor rehearsals, and tons of new MTNs (musical theater nerds) to meet... maybe even a special someone. It almost feels like fate when the two friends return home to find local auditions for The Sound of Music. But as Louisa fantasizes about frolicking in the Alps, Jack gets tempted by a student-run drama competition that would reunite the two with their camp friends. Will Jack get Louisa to skip an audition? Can Lou handle Jack as her director? And will someone finally get a big, Broadway happy ending?

Add your review of "Jack & Louisa" Act 1, 2 and/or 3 in comments!

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Boy Named Queen - a 5th grade gender non-conforming boy, and the friend he helps to embrace her own creativity



A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy

Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.

How will the class react? How will Evelyn?

Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She takes particular notice of this boy named Queen. The way the bullies don't seem to faze him. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, almost against Evelyn's better judgment. She even finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn't he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself?

Yet he is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if it means ignoring the No Gifts request and shopping for what her mother considers to be an appropriate gift, appropriately wrapped with "boy" wrapping paper.

Her visit to Queen's house opens Evelyn's eyes to a whole new world, including an unconventional goody bag (leftover potato latkes wrapped in waxed paper and a pair of barely used red sneakers). And when it comes time for her to take something to school for Hype and Share, Evelyn suddenly looks at her chosen offering -- her mother's antique cream jug -- and sees new and marvelous possibilities.

Add your review of "A Boy Named Queen" in comments!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Star-Crossed - a middle school play of "Romeo and Juliet" has Maddie playing Romeo opposite her crush, Gemma!



Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

Twelve-year-old Mattie is thrilled when she learns the eighth grade play will be Romeo and Juliet. In particular, she can’t wait to share the stage with Gemma Braithwaite, who has been cast as Juliet. Gemma is brilliant, pretty—and British!—and Mattie starts to see her as more than just a friend. But Mattie has also had an on/off crush on her classmate Elijah since, well, forever. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls?

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things offstage are beginning to resemble their own Shakespearean drama: the cast is fighting, and the boy playing Romeo may not be up to the challenge of the role. And due to a last-minute emergency, Mattie is asked to step up and take over the leading role—opposite Gemma’s Juliet—just as Mattie’s secret crush starts to become not-so-secret in her group of friends.

Add your review of "Star-Crossed" in comments!

Harriet Gets Carried Away - A Sweet Picture Book About a Girl with a Terrific Imagination... and Two Dads, That I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was a Little Kid



Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

Sweet, whimsical, and not about having two dads, Harriet Gets Carried Away is lovely, and absolutely a book I wish had been read to me when I was a little kid!

Here are some images from the interior, so you can see how Harriet's dads are integrated into this very child-centered story.





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Hurray for Harriet (and her dads!)

Thanks, Jessie.

Add your review of "Harriet Gets Carried Away" in comments!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Girls of Paper and Fire - An Asian-Influenced Teen Fantasy with a Forbidden Lesbian Love



Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, she does the unthinkable -- she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

Read a great interview with the author in Publishers Weekly here.

Add your review of "Girls of Paper and Fire" in comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pulp - Two Teenage Girls, 62 years apart, and the Lesbian Pulp Novels That Change Everything For Them



Pulp by Robin Talley

In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, D.C. in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself―and Marie―to a danger all too real.

62 years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject―classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires, and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.

Add your review of "Pulp" in comments!

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Transgender Story of Coy Mathis is Edited Out of the Russian edition of "Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls"

This was reported last week in Huffington Post's Queer Voices by Daria Litvinova, LGBTQ People Erased From Books In Russia Under ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law: A story written by trans activist Coy Mathis is missing from the Russian edition of a new children’s book.

Image from this beautiful post about the original "Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls" on MommyShorts

According to the article,

Liza Lazerson, a feminist blogger who owns a copy, said she was surprised to see that while the cover promised 100 stories the book contained only 99 and one blank page - supposedly for the reader to add their own.

“But then a follower sent me a photo of Coy Mathis’s story from the French edition,” Lazerson, who is based in Moscow, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in written comments.

Mathis, an 11-year-old transgender girl from the United States, won a landmark victory in a 2013 case against her school allowing her to use the girl’s bathroom.

Bombora, which printed the book in Russia, did not immediately respond to requests for comment....

Francesca Cavallo, one of the authors of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls,” said she was “deeply saddened that Coy’s story has been left out.”
It's sad and frustrating that children and their families in Russia won't have access to this empowering story of a young girl who was born with a boy's body, and how her parents (and ultimately, a judge) were so supportive of her being allowed to use whatever bathroom she felt most comfortable using at school.

In these times where governments create darkness, every bit of light becomes more important, and more powerful. 

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee