Happy New Year, all! As always, we're starting the new month by shouting about some of our most anticipated upcoming releases by queer authors. So, if you have a case of the January blues, have no fear — there are lots of amazing new books to get you through the darkest month.
We're starting January strong with Woodpusher by Tim Baughman Jr. out on the 2nd. This is the second book in the Azaes Realm series and includes lesbian, bisexual, and ace- and aro-spectrum characters.
Erika Edens finally had everything she wanted. The girl. The quiet life. The stable job. But even the best situations can be turned upside down by powers well beyond our control.
Now Erika finds herself in another universe full of gods, guardians, and advanced technologies. Along with her girlfriend and four other humans, they must undertake a plan to save Earth from a rogue deity. But for all the skills and talents this team has, one critical component is out of place. Will Erika be able to overcome her lack of skills - and her demons - to learn what she needs to save the world? Or will she trip herself up along the way?
Also on the 2nd comes sapphic fantasy romance Deep Sounding Chaos by Neen Cohen and Adrian J. Smith!
Zendalia is a soldier at heart, but when her father is brutally murdered, she must seek vengeance for his death. She dives deep into the ocean to find her father’s murderer and bring them to justice. Her plan goes haywire when she ends up kidnapped by the very mermaid she’s set out to capture, her life suddenly in the hands of a stone-cold killer.
Kaelin isn’t strong-willed or confident or even particularly smart. Banished from her tribe, she wants nothing more than to reclaim her life and do what is right. Instead, she finds herself with a captive she didn’t want. To protect both of them from the real monster lurking in the depths of the ocean, Kaelin breaks her silence and the rules of her exile.
Overcoming animosity, Zendalia and Kaelin make a startling choice. Work with the enemy to save the ocean. But will they find more than they bargained for? Will they find love in the deep soundings?
Prepare yourself for a romantasy of mermaids. If you want sapphic mermaids, action, and a snarky octopus, this fantasy romance book is just for you.
On the 10th, read Bachelorette Number Twelve by lesfic author Jae!
Ellie Fisher loves most things about being a nurse in the emergency department…just not working with Regina Novak, an icy attending physician who acts as if she’s God’s gift to medicine. The dislike is completely mutual. Regina thinks Ellie is a starry-eyed romantic with a sentimental attitude that has no place at work. When Regina gets talked into volunteering at a singles auction, Ellie accidentally bids on her—and ends up winning. Oops! Since the money raised is for a good cause, they reluctantly decide to go through with the dates. Thanks to a baking class that turns into a competition and a hot-as-hell road trip snack incident, the ice between them starts to thaw. Is it possible the ER isn’t the most unromantic place on earth after all?
And you can grab even more lesfic on the 11th, this time from Sienna Waters with The Wedding That Almost Wasn't.
It’s time to fall in love. Literally.
American Emily Jackson has been in love with her best friend’s oldest sister Savannah for as long as she can remember. Which is why a family wedding in far-off Scotland is a dream come true. A week trapped in the Highlands with Savannah is exactly what she needs to prove that they belong together.
Harry Lorde has a problem. Attractive women make her fall over, spill drinks, and generally make an idiot of herself. Understandably, this has made dating not just hard, but impossible. So she’s not expecting much in terms of romance when she heads to her best friend Gabe’s wedding in Scotland.
But when sabotage starts to threaten not just the wedding, but also Harry’s dog Elsie, Harry and Emily find themselves on the case. The mystery might be deepening, but so are the feelings, and best of all, Harry hasn’t fallen over once.
Love has many faces, and while romance fan Emily is expecting fireworks, Harry’s just afraid all those bangs might come from her falling downstairs. But with disbelieving best friends, femme fatale sisters, a movie star handsome hotel receptionist, and a dog that can’t get enough bacon, this is going to be a wedding to remember. And two of the guests are about to lose their hearts, hopefully to the right people...
The Wedding that Almost Wasn’t is a lesbian romance featuring a very happy ending, from bestselling Sapphic writer Sienna Waters, author of The Wrong Date, Crossing the Pond, and Teaching Hope.
More lesbians on the 15th, when Dani Finn brings us fantasy romance Jagged Shard!
To the Depths and beyond.
Laanda’s led her weary people across endless mountains in search of a new home. Jagged Shard has everything they need: deep mountain tunnels, ready-made infrastructure, and a wealth of hotiron that will secure her clan’s future. It must be theirs.
Skiti’s seen her Queen like this before. Obsessed. Desperate. Willing to risk everything for her people. But Jagged Shard was abandoned for a reason. If Skiti can’t protect Laanda from herself, she risks losing her forever.
Their bonds tighten as they delve side by side into the many dangers and wonders of this forgotten place. Only together can they solve the puzzle of Jagged Shard and of their own reticent hearts.
Jagged Shard is a high-octane, high-steam lesbian dungeon crawler romance with a butch 4 butch pairing and a BFFs to lovers arc.
On the 20th, Mars Adler releases Sweet Lamb, a trans horror romance featuring a polyamorous relationship, a non-binary MC, and transmasc and transfemme love interests.
Dangerous magic and corrupt spiritualism clash in a sleepy valley at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
Nonbinary cult survivor Liv Hartwin escapes the clutches of a sinister new age cult after a Halloween ritual goes horribly wrong. The cult leader summons and imprisons something that looks a lot like a biblical angel, and Liv wakes up to find a doppelganger slowly stealing their life.
Dying and desperate, Liv kills their doppelganger and runs to the only place the cult won’t dare follow: a spooky Victorian house at the edge of the compound’s property that’s rumored to be haunted and inhabited by evil witches.
Sloane and Clark Wainwright are a married trans couple who run a one-stop shop for all life and death magic needs. Sloane is the world’s best necromancer, and Clark is a talented green witch. They try to stay out of cult business as much as possible, but they can’t turn Liv away when they come knocking with too much knowledge and a connection to the captured creature.
The cult has set world-ending events in motion that only Sloane, Clark, and Liv can stop. That is, if they live long enough to see it through. The only thing that will save Liv is a seductive and dangerous seven-day spell that will test Sloane and Clark’s marriage to the breaking point.
As they race against the clock, all three fall deeper into the alluring pull of the spell. The lines between lust and love blur, and at the end of it they might not be willing to let go of each other or the bond they’ve created.
Also on the 20th, read Paisley's Breakthrough by Amber Perez. This sapphic contemporary romance includes bi and lesbian MCs, plus stories of mental health and coming out. You can catch our interview with Amber later this month!
When life hands you the unimaginable, you can either have a breakdown or a breakthrough.
Paisley, a successful psychologist, runs a thriving practice in downtown Knoxville. She’s worked hard to build a lucrative career and it shows, from her tailored designer wardrobe to her luxurious penthouse condo. But, when she encounters a patient who makes her face her hidden past, her carefully contrived lifestyle begins to unravel. She seems to have all the answers except when it comes to her own life.
Rae, a tough on the surface paramedic with a heart of gold, wants more out of life than the meaningless hookups her coworkers seem content with. Determined to put her energy into her career, running, and playing grease monkey with her collection of vintage vehicles, Rae is convinced she has all she needs to live a fulfilled life.
Thrown together in the wake of a tragedy, both women struggle with the attraction they instantly feel for the other. More than aware of the dangers associated with trauma bonding, Rae questions every interaction as Paisley questions who she is.
Will they find a way to triage the hardships they face? Or will Paisley’s inability to break through leave them both in need of counsel?
We can't wait to read Imago: A Dystopian Gothic by Matthew Zakharuk on the 30th!
Tresor Institute accepts only the worthy, and Ada Călinescu is anything but. Intractable, mannish, a child of convicted terrorists, she can at best hope to be overlooked. Yet somehow the Institute accepts her application for transfer. Her ticket to the polar town of Heilung, home of the Institute, arrives free of charge.
Her only chance to forge a brighter future.
Except Heilung welcomes Ada with news of a brutal murder. Militiamen stalk the town, keen to fill their arrest quotas—and Ada knows she could make an easy scapegoat. At every turn the bloody conspiracy follows her, from the halls of Tresor to the arms of a stranger she yearns to make hers. What starts as a dalliance risks putting Ada at odds with the Bureau itself.
And then expulsion will be the least of her concerns.
On the 31st comes Breaker of Fates by Vaela Denarr and Micah Iannandrea. This adventure romance is the first in the new Broken Song duology and includes a whole host of representation, including bi and trans MCs with disabilities. Read our interview with the duo here.
Perilous quests give rise to heroes. And broken songs call out for chosen ones to be mended.
Roderick and Keeva, once friends, now orphaned by a dragon’s wrath that fractured the harmony between the great clans, spend their days locked in battle… until they are reunited, realizing that they’re both dating the same guy: Mateo, whose overdue transformation into a dragon is complicated by feelings of self doubt after the disastrous attempt to broker peace.
Choosing to get along is one thing, but forgiving one another—or themselves—for the hurt they’ve inflicted, is another. Keeva keeps seeing the face of her dead best friend in her dreams, and Roderick’s suspicion and distrust keep him up at night. Soon, though, a great threat unites them against a common foe.
Someone has stolen a song from the gods, disrupting the tenuously rebuilt harmony of their homeland, and the very beast that tore them apart threatens to be set loose. True heroes of Koor Kosma are required to serve as vessels for the other four godly songs and reforge the divine harmony.
Neither Roderick nor Keeva are such heroes, but unless they can unite the divine and broken songs, unless harmony brings the shattered clans together, all will burn.
They are not chosen.
They are not the heroes of this story.
They are broken.
And they must be forgiven.
The Broken Song Duology is a story about queer grief, trauma, forgiveness and finding your place in the world.
Last but certainly not least, grab lesbian contemporary romance Not in the Plan by Dana Hawkins on the 31st!
Free-spirited coffee shop owner meets uptight coffee addict. Is an opposites-attract match brewing… or burning?
Crushed under the weight of writer’s block and a looming deadline, Mack escapes from New York to Seattle. She meets Charlie, a beautiful, generous, nearly bankrupt coffee shop owner recovering from heartbreak. For the first time, Mack has a muse. And then Mack starts using Charlie’s private stories in her novel…
When a storm traps Mack and Charlie in the coffee shop, they share a mind-bending, knee-shaking kiss. But Charlie is an eternal optimist who sleeps with fairy-lights on, while Mack is an ironing-at-5am worrier who sleeps with… everyone. They could never turn this chemistry into something real, right?
And if Charlie finds out what Mack has been doing, turning Charlie’s most intimate secrets into a juicy page-turner, will they even have a chance to try?