Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Dark Beneath the Ice - A Lesbian Teen Supernatural Thriller

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It's not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn't been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She's losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic.

But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing's rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has--everything it's convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it's owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Leah on the Offbeat - In this sequel to "Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda" (and the movie "Love, Simon"), Simon's BFF Leah is Bi (and closeted), and falling in love, while their friend group is falling apart

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.

She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high.

It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Elle of the Ball - a middle grade basketball series (written by a basketball star!) starts with seventh-grade Elle, who has to dance with a boy, but wants to dance with another girl.

Elle of the Ball by Elena Delle Donne

Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall—not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her—and perform publicly for a grade. And who Elle really wants to dance with is the new girl, Amanda.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel - a middle grade retelling of (and then a sequel to) the Halloween movie. And this time, there's a teen girl-on-girl crush!

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends (including her crush Isabella) fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest vile scheme.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Quiver - teens from opposite worlds (Zo is gender fluid in a liberal family, Libby's family are evangelical Christians) become neighbors and unlikely friends

Quiver by Julia Watts

Libby is the oldest child of six, going on seven, in a family that adheres to the "quiverfull" lifestyle: strict evangelical Christians who believe that they should have as many children as God allows because children are like arrows in the quiver of "God's righteous warriors." Meanwhile, her new neighbor Zo is a gender fluid teen whose feminist, socialist, vegetarian family recently relocated from the city in search of a less stressful life.

Zo and hir family are as far to the left ideologically as Libby's family is to the right, and yet Libby and Zo, who are the same age, feel a connection that leads them to friendship--a friendship that seems doomed from the start because of their families' differences.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls - Four sisters (one with a crush on another girl) and the summer that changes everything

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it's hard to dream big when she's so busy taking care of everyone else.

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a it's not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

Kat lands the lead in the community theater's summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn't sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Dangerous Art of Blending In - Evan has survived his mother's abuse by being silent. And now his best friend Henry is suddenly becoming more than a friend...

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in an abandoned monastery that feels as lonely as he is. And yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. Henry, who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he deserves more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse.

But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by being silent.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

La Bastarda - An orphaned teen in Equatorial Guinea tries to find her father with the help of her gay uncle and a gang of "mysterious" girls

La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono, translated by Lawrence Schimel

The first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English, La Bastarda is the story of the orphaned teen Okomo, who lives under the watchful eye of her grandmother and dreams of finding her father. Forbidden from seeking him out, she enlists the help of other village outcasts: her gay uncle and a gang of "mysterious" girls reveling in their so-called indecency. Drawn into their illicit trysts, Okomo finds herself falling in love with their leader and rebelling against the rigid norms of Fang culture.

Learn more about this translation in this article by the translator here.

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Friday, February 8, 2019


I'm really honored to be the guest on this new episode of OUTTAKE VOICES™.

Hosted by the very thoughtful (and Emmy-winning) Charlotte Robinson, the podcast series interviews “LGBT leaders & their allies”, focusing on politics and entertainment. I'm in some amazing company, with previous episodes featuring activists like Peter TatchellEvangeline Weiss, and Chad Griffin; and actors, singers, and directors like Kyra Sedgwick, Mary Wilson, and Michael Gaucher; and authors of plays and books like Brynn Tannehill and Jewelle Gomez and... me! WOW!

My interview covers a lot of ground, and I'm speaking from the heart. Having spent so many years trying to find my voice, now that I have it—well, having this opportunity to be heard means a lot.

Listen to the Lee Wind Talks New Novel "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" episode here.

My thanks to Charlotte for the opportunity, and to you, for being part of my community.

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Beauty That Remains - Three teens (one gay) struggle with loss... can music save them?

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who's struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

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Monday, February 4, 2019

The Brightsiders - A teenage rock star crashes, comes out (as bi), and crushes on a gender fluid bandmate

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road - Three Pakistani-American teens (one gay and closeted) road trip from NY to New Orleans

The summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala, and religious but closeted Umar.

But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be a better escape than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans?

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