Friday, February 28, 2020

A High Five for Glenn Burke - A 6th Grader Does a Report on the First Openly Gay Major League Player (as Maybe a Way to Start Coming Out Himself)

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner
When sixth grader Silas Wade does a school presentation on former Major Leaguer Glenn Burke, it’s more than just a report about the irrepressible inventor of the high five. Burke was a gay baseball player in the 1970s—and for Silas, the presentation is his own first baby step toward revealing a truth about himself he's tired of hiding. Soon he tells his best friend, Zoey, but the longer he keeps his secret from his baseball teammates, the more he suspects they know something’s up—especially when he stages one big cover-up with terrible consequences.

Booklist gave this middle grade novel a starred review, calling it "“An essential book for all readers, not just baseball fans, about friendship, acceptance, and self-confidence.”

Add your review of "A High Five for Glenn Burke" in comments!

Thanks to Yapha for the heads-up on this one.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Elephant Shoe - A Friends-to-Lovers Gay Teen Romance

Elephant Shoe by J.S. Edge
If his sixteen years of experience has taught Mikey Alston only one thing, it’s this:
Life is too damn cruel to face alone…

The ice took our car off the road.
The tree wrecked it.
Tate and I didn’t make it out unscathed.
My parents didn’t make it out alive…
I was eleven, and that’s the day my whole world was ripped away from me.
My brother, David, was twenty-one. All the family I had left, I needed him. He didn’t need me.
David sent me away. Packed me off far across the country from my home town in Devon – from Tate and everything I’d ever known, to live with grandparents I’d never known.
Six years is a long time.
But now I’m back.
(Not through choice. Not mine, anyway).
And Tate’s still here.
Only… he’s not the boy I left behind.
He won’t speak to me. Won’t speak to anyone.
The one upshot of my return to a life I no longer fit and he’s letting me down spectacularly.
Well, Tate, here’s the thing:
I’m not giving up on you. I’m not everybody else. You can’t shut me out. You need me – we need each other. And we will be friends again. Best friends.
I’m decided.
It’s decided.

Add your review of "Elephant Shoe" in comments!

Thanks to Timothy for the recommendation!

Monday, February 24, 2020

March 21, 2020 I'll Be On Faculty At The "Arizona Author Mindset Conference" in Phoenix!

Another great moment of synergy between my day job as director of marketing and programming at the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and being an author, especially an author who self-published my debut YA novel, "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill."

I'll be on faculty at this brand-new conference (the idea is for it to be an annual event), sharing the crazy roller-coaster story of "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" and giving some context and tips for navigating Indie Publishing with a talk at 3:30pm,

"The Latest Trends in Publishing for the Indie Author"

If you're in the Phoenix area, and are curious about your author journey, this Author Mindset Conference sets out to:

"...take a deep dive into the person of the author. What does it take to connect, past your book, with your audience? Audiences demand interaction. They want to see you, hear you, and relate to you."

You'll find all the details here.

Hope to see you there,

Friday, February 21, 2020

That’s Not What Happened - A Teen Girl Struggles With Speaking Up About The Truth Of A Mass Shooting... And Her Own Identity

That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

It's been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah's story--that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it's not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn't say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah's parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I'm not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did--and didn't--happen that day.

Except Sarah's martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don't take kindly to what I'm trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what's right. I don't know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . . .

What's Queer about it? Amid everything else, the main character, Lee, has to come out to her friends as Asexual.

Add your review of "That's Not What Happened" in comments!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Last Bus to Everland - A Handsome Stranger Leads Brody to Magic, Adventure, and a place called "Everland"

Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

Brody Fair feels like nobody gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and definitely not the girls in the projects set on making his life miserable. Then he meets Nico, an art student who takes Brody to Everland, a “knock-off Narnia" that opens its door at 11:21pm each Thursday for Nico and his band of present-day misfits and miscreants.

Here Brody finds [community] and a weekly respite from a world where he feels out of place. But when the doors to Everland begin to disappear, Brody is forced to make a decision: He can say goodbye to Everland and to Nico, or stay there and risk never seeing his family again. Will Nico take the last bus to Everland?
Add your review of "Last Bus to Everland" in comments!

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James - A Middle Grade Novel About A 12-Year-Old Girl With a New Heart, and a Second Chance To Live Her Dream Life (Which Maybe Doesn't Involve Kissing a Boy After All)

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan":
1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before;
2) find a new best friend; and
3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.

Add your review of "The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James" in comments!

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Navigator’s Touch - a Sequel to the Lesbian Merfolk/Human Love and Adventure of "The Seafarer's Kiss"

The Navigator's Touch by Julia Ember

After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea.

She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home?

It's the sequel to The Seafarer's Kiss. Add your review of "The Navigator's Touch" in comments!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Abraham Lincoln's Birthday is Today, February 12 - Wouldn't It Be Nice To Celebrate The Legacy of His Loving Another Man, Too?

Oh, Abraham Lincoln.

He's on Mount Rushmore.

He's on the Penny.

He's on the Five-Dollar Bill.

And the letters he wrote Joshua Fry Speed makes it pretty clear that he loved Joshua.

Surprised? So was I, when I first heard of this, when I first read the letters.

And so is Wyatt, the 15 year-old main character of my YA novel, Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill.

But Wyatt has an idea - if he can tell the world that Abraham Lincoln - the 16th President of the United States - was gay, or bi, then maybe he can change the way people think about LGBTQ people. Maybe it's a secret from history that can change the world.

If you haven't read it yet, I hope you'll give it a chance.

Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill is available in print, eBook, and Audiobook formats.

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

Monday, February 10, 2020

Coda and Chorus - A Dystopian Two-Book Series with a Bi Teen Guy Who Has To Save The World

Coda by Emma Trevayne

Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.

Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

What's queer about it is that Anthem is Bi, and at the same time that he's in a relationship with a girl, Haven, he is also in a relationship with his male bandmate, Scope.


The dream is all white from a memory that is too real, and its melody has continued to haunt Alpha, even though she has moved as far away from temptation as possible. Eight years after she was exposed to her first and only addictive musical track from the Corp, Alpha has established a new life with a band of her own in a city that has given her the space she was seeking, Los Angeles.

However, it only takes one urgent call to bring Alpha back home to Anthem, the older brother who raised her as well as a revolution, and Omega, her twin brother whose contrasting personality makes her feel whole. As Alpha spends more time in the Web, she notices that the number of people who look sickly and addicted seems to be rising. With Anthem's health declining, Alpha and her friends will have to dig deeper into the mainframe than ever before in order to find the root of the Corp's re-emergence.

Add your review of "Coda" and/or "Chorus" in comments!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Are You Attending #NY20SCBWI? Join Me For the LGBTQ and Allies Social

The SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City is always wonderful, and one of my favorite things about it is this gathering of community within the community!

LGBTQ and Allies Social
Saturday February 8, 2020, 7:30pm-9pm
In Broadway (Conference Level)

Join me, special faculty guests, and your fellow conference attendees that are interested in writing and illustrating works for kids and teens that include LGBTQ characters and themes!

Hope to see you there.

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Drawing of Rainbow Families Posted to Social Media Gets 26 Year-old Yulia Tsvetkova Prosecuted for "Pornography" and Violating Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Law

Illustration reading, "Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families.” © 2019 Yulia Tsvetkova

The drawing seems so sweet. But images of love - our LGBTQ love - and the people who create and share them are being silenced by Russia's terrible "gay propaganda" law.

There's a petition to help Yulia over at AllOut. Here's the message of it:

When Yulja heard about a same-sex couple who had to flee Russia with their two adopted children after being targeted by the authorities, she drew a picture (see above – the text reads “Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families.”) to show her solidarity.

After she shared this and other drawings promoting inclusivity on social media, the authorities brought trumped-up charges against her for violating the Russian "gay propaganda" law and distributing pornography, fined her 50,000 rubles (around 800 USD / 722 €), and put her under house arrest. She could face up to six years in prison.

She is not the first person to be targeted under the "gay propaganda" law. But with your help, she might be the last.

If enough people speak up, the charges might be dropped – and the "gay propaganda" law abolished once and for all.

Please consider signing Yulia's petition, run in conjunction with the Moscow Community Center. And spread the word. Images of our families should be celebrated, and not used to persecute people.

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

Monday, February 3, 2020

The February 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

Happy February, Community!

Here's the latest...

Watch the under-five minute video by clicking the still frame above or by clicking here:


Hi Community, It’s February 2020

I’m Lee Wind, and this is my Video Newsletter, which is all about Updating, Informing, and hopefully Inspiring YOU.

Queer History is Everywhere!
So I was just in San Francisco at the GLBT History Museum there, and while a small space it's packed with really cool things, including Michael Cafee’s Fe Be’s Leather David, which I'd never seen before.

So in1966, this artist took a cast version of the statue of David, the famous one by Michelangelo, and he readjusted the arm - he kind of broke it at the elbow, and put the thumb in the jean's pocket, he put jeans on him, and a leather jacket, and this hat, and he made him kind of this gay, cruising leather daddy kind of icon.

I thought that was so cool, how he remixed history. And evidently, the statue was in this bar in San Francisco for years, and there are copies that have been made of the Leather David that are all over the world. And it was the first time I got to see it and I got really inspired because I love that reworking of history to make it something even more relevant for our Queer community. Fe Be's Leather David. Who knew? So cool. Queer History really is Everywhere!

Lee Wind Author Update

So this month, the exciting news is a new subtitle.

So the book that's coming out in May 2021 from Zest/Lerner,

the series title is:

The book title is:

And the new subtitle is:
Discover Hidden Lives and Secret Loves

Which I think really sums it up perfectly. So, keep a look out!

Readers Say

This month I'm going to feature a review from Goodreads. Rachel A. gave Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill 5 stars, writing:

Lee Wind’s clear writing and propulsive plot swoop us along on Wyatt’s journey as he navigates the flame wars, the anger of his parents, the bullying of his classmates and his feelings towards his new crush, Martin. I love the journey, I love the drama, I love the historical details and the sad, mysterious librarian. The journey is perilous, but the ending is creative and hopeful. One young boy makes a difference to himself, to his family and to his community. Well done.

Thanks, Rachel. It's always so gratifying to hear from readers that really got the book. And that it resonated with them, and that they're willing to share that with others to help spread the word.


So it's February, which means that I'm going to be on my way to New York City, for the SCBWI Winter Conference [Feb 7, 8, 9]. It's always a wonderful experience. I'll be blogging it once again, and hosting the LGBTQ Q&A which is a social sort of space safe gathering of the community within the larger community, and I can't wait!


Also, In March, I'm going to be in Arizona, in Phoenix, [March 21] at something called “Indie Author Spring Training” which is a new conference, and they asked me to be on faculty, and I'm looking forward to that.

So if I'm going to see you there, in New York or in Arizona, say "Hi!"

Reading In, Writing Out

This month I’m listening to the audiobook of “Infinity Son” by Adam Silvera…
It's the beginning of a new series, it's a fantasy.
Gritty New York City, a magical world where some people have powers - not everybody - and there are superheroes and there are supervillians, and there's two brothers who are swept up into the conflict – and one of them is gay! And I'm having a great time with it.


This month, the thing that is most inspiring to me is my friend Karol Ruth Silverstein’s book "Cursed" won the Schneider Family Book Award [for the best book for teens about the disability experience] from the American Library Association.

This is a HUGE deal, and it couldn't happen to a lovelier person or a better writer. The book is amazing, and now so many more people will get to read it.

Karol's story of hard work and perseverance, and her taking her own really challenging, painful onset of a disease in her childhood, as a teen, and her reworking it into this amazing #OwnVoices story that will touch so many hearts and impact so many people for the good... I just couldn't be happier for her.

Yay, Karol! And that's inspiration.

Want more? 

Check out I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read? at
Until then, the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.