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LGBTQ+ Releases Coming this April

Enjoy the last of the Easter chocolate and (hopefully) some warmer weather with these brand new queer books, coming out this month — and don't forget to tick the boxes of your Achillean Book Bingo card as you go to be in with a chance of winning one of Merlina Garance's huge giveaways at the end of the year!


 


Start April with contemporary lesbian novel, Actually Invisible by Elisa Greb, out on the 1st, and stay tuned to hear more about it in our interview post on the 5th!


As if Josie's life isn't complicated enough teaching high school English, co-parenting the toddler conceived by her wife, frequenting the fertility clinic while trying (and failing) to conceive their next child, keeping her lips zipped at school so her students don't know she's gay, and grieving the loss of her father, things get messier when a student comes out to her in a writing assignment. Suddenly thrust into a small-town spotlight powered by social media, the student's parents' mission to get her fired, and an influx of anonymous email threats, Josie scrambles to decide whether she should crawl back into her closet or finally start living her truth.



On the 2nd of April, read gay biblical retellings with Dayspring by award-winning author Anthony Oliveira.


There are few love stories in the holy books. Love is what ruins. Love is what costs. Love is a flaming sword at our backs, a garden left to ruin and to wild.

In Dayspring, Anthony Oliveira brings to vibrant, glorious life the gospel according to the disciple Christ loved—his companion in the days before the crucifixion, the only instrument that remembers with fidelity his sound.

Sacred, profane, and rich with explicit desire and a poetic attention to form, Dayspring weaves electric and heart-wrenching stories of passion, grief, destruction, and survival into a narrative unmoored in space and time, one that re-examines and re-frames great and doomed figures from scripture and history, even as it casts its keen eye on the trials of modern life.

Seamlessly blending fiction, memoir, and verse in the exhilarating tradition of Anne Carson and Madeline Miller, Dayspring is an immersive, mesmerizing work, one that wrenches beauty from cataclysm and finds bliss in apocalypse.




Also on the 2nd comes Markelle Grabo's YA fantasy, Call Forth A Fox, featuring bi, queer, and Black/mixed race main characters in a sapphic romance.


The western wood is where Ro's father built their garden, taught her to forage, and told her tales of the faeries who live there—how to summon them, how to protect herself, and warnings of what they are capable of. Now, her father is gone, the garden has withered, and their family is struggling. Her mother and sister want to move into town, but Ro doesn't want to give up the memories of her father and his stories—or the charming village girl who shares Ro's love of the trees. The forest isn't ready to let Ro go either.


One winter night, on her way home from foraging, Ro encounters a bear attacking a fox. She fights the bear to save the fox's life, only to see the bear turn into a boy after her sister shoots him with an arrow. When the boy wakes, he has no memory of who he is—all he knows is Ro's name and that he has to kill the fox.


Ro never believed in the faeries from her father's stories, but she can't deny the magic surrounding her and that both the boy and the fox are victims of a faerie curse. She'll have to remember everything her father taught her in order to extract herself from this deadly game and keep her precious fox out of harm's way.



If We Were Stars by Eule Grey also releases on the 2nd, and promises a YA fantasy romance with pansexual and nonbinary representation.


Blimey. The last thing Kurt wants is to wear a space helmet, and, no, they didn’t plan on saving the world either—Not before their eighteenth birthday anyway. Who’d have thought friending a lonely alien would lead to the Cape Canaveral launch pad.


Best friends since they were ten years old, Kurt O’Hara and Beast Harris tackle the typical teenage challenges together: pronouns, AWOL bodies, not to mention snogging. A long-distance relationship with an alien named Iuvenis is the least of their troubles.


Kurt loves programming, people-pleasing, and yellow dresses. Most of all, Kurt loves Beast.

Beast adores elephants, protest marches, and Kurt. Rules?—Nah. Humanity’s way down on Beast’s list of to-dos.


Beast and Kurt, Kurt and Beast. The end. Exactly how their love turns into a scene from Red Dwarf is anyone’s guess. Spaceships? NASA at the doorstep? No biggie. As long as they’re together, Kurt and Beast can survive anything.


Except, apparently, lift-off. Because nobody considered sensory issues, did they? Nope. NASA never made adjustments for neurodivergent astronauts. Unbelievable.

Will science be enough to blast Kurt and Beast—unlikely superheroes—into space to save the planet? Or will it take something much more extraordinary?




Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris is another book you can grab on the 2nd!


Dumplin' meets Daisy Jones & the Six in this split-POV love song to country idols, romantic road trips, and queer love.


They say to never meet your idols. But they never said anything about upending your life for a quest designed by one.


Seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase has been a lifelong fan of country music legend Decklee Cassel, who’s as famous for her classic hits as she is for her partnership with songwriter Mickenlee Hooper. The same Mickenlee who mysteriously backed out of the limelight at the height of their careers, never to be heard from again. Now, Decklee’s televised funeral marks the unveiling of her long-awaited time capsule. But when it’s revealed to be empty, a long trail of scavenger hunt clues unfolds, leading to a whopping cash prize for whoever finds the real capsule. Darren knows there’s a story there—and she’s going to be the one to break it. Even if it means a spontaneous road trip with her coworker, Kendall.


Flashback to 1963, where a young, runaway Decklee has her sights set on fame and glory. As she claws her way to the top over the years that follow, it’s Mickenlee’s lyrics that help rocket her to stardom. But as their relationship evolves beyond the professional, it threatens everything Decklee has worked for. What else will she sacrifice to hold on to her dreams?


Told in alternating perspectives, Every Time You Hear That Song is a queer coming-of-age story celebrating country music, complicated women, and living authentically. There’s more to Decklee’s story than Darren ever could have guessed, but the real story she has to tell is her own.



And Here We Go Again by sapphic author Alison Cochrun is also due out on the 2nd.


A long time ago, Logan Maletis and Rosemary Hale used to be friends. They spent their childhood summers running through the woods, rebelling against their conservative small town, and dreaming of escaping. But then an incident the summer before high school turned them into bitter rivals. After graduation, they went ten years without speaking.


Now in their thirties, Logan and Rosemary find they aren’t quite living the lives of adventure they imagined for themselves. Still in their small town and working as teachers at their alma mater, they’re both stuck in old patterns. Uptight Rosemary chooses security and stability over all else, working constantly, and her most stable relationship is with her label maker. Chaotic and impulsive Logan has a long list of misguided ex-lovers and an apathetic shrug she uses to protect herself from anything real. And as hard as they try to avoid each other—and their complicated past—they keep crashing into each other. Including with their cars.


But when their beloved former English teacher and lifelong mentor tells them he has only a few months to live, they’re forced together once and for all to fulfill his last a cross-country road trip. Stuffed into the gayest van west of the Mississippi, the three embark on a life-changing summer trip—from Washington state to the Grand Canyon, from the Gulf Coast to coastal Maine—that will chart a new future and perhaps lead them back to one another.




On the 4th of April, dive into historical fiction The Devil to Pay by Katie Daysh, which includes gay, homoromantic and asexual representation.


In 1802, The Treaty of Amiens brings the French Revolutionary Wars to an end. After the drama of the past few years, Lieutenant Arthur Courtney returns home to England where he hopes to spend a blissful summer with his close friend, Hiram Nightingale.


But within weeks, HMS Loyal goes missing en route to Malta. She carries a French and British diplomat, Hugo Baptiste and Sir William Haywood. Their disappearance, in this tentative time of peace, may be enough to prematurely ignite war between France and Britain once more.


Both Courtney and Nightingale, Sir William’s son-in-law, receive a position on HMS Lysander, tasked with tracking down the missing frigate. But as their mission grows ever more dangerous with each passing day, the risk of dissension simmers menacingly on the deck of the Lysander.


And when painful memories finally begin to rise to the surface after so many years, the truth of Courtney and Nightingale’s powerful bond could be the spark that sets everything ablaze…


A thrilling queer adventure on the High Seas, with romance, naval warfare and long hidden secrets finally come to light. Perfect for fans of Kate Mosse, Ken Follett and Diana Gabaldon.



For a novel that comes Swords & Sapphics recommended, read Rose Sutherland's A Sweet Sting of Salt on the 9th, and catch our next episode on the 10th to listen to our conversation with Rose all about this sapphic historical reimagining!


Once a young woman uncovers a dark secret about her neighbor and his mysterious new wife, she’ll have to fight to keep herself—and the woman she loves—safe in this stunning queer reimagining of the classic folktale The Selkie Wife.


When a sharp cry wakes Jean in the middle of the night during a terrible tempest, she’s convinced it must have been a dream. But when the cry comes again, Jean ventures outside and is shocked by what she discovers—a young woman in labor, already drenched to the bone in the freezing cold and barely able to speak a word of English.


Although Jean is the only midwife in the village and for miles around, she’s at a loss as to who this woman is or where she’s from; Jean can only assume she must be the new wife of the neighbor up the road, Tobias. And when Tobias does indeed arrive at her cabin in search of his wife, Muirin, Jean’s questions continue to grow. Why has he kept his wife’s pregnancy a secret? And why does Muirin’s open demeanor change completely the moment she’s in his presence?


Though Jean learned long ago that she should stay out of other people’s business, her growing concern—and growing feelings—for Muirin mean she can’t simply set her worries aside. But when the answers she finds are more harrowing than she ever could have imagined, she fears she may have endangered herself, Muirin, and the baby. Will she be able to put things right and save the woman she loves before it’s too late, or will someone have to pay for Jean’s actions with their life?




On the 15th comes Eye of the Ouroboros by Megan Bontrager, a cosmic horror sci-fi featuring a lesbian protagonist and PTSD representation.


When guilt-stricken park ranger Theodora Buchanan gets too close to the truth of her sister Flora’s strange disappearance, the Federal Bureau of Reality intervenes to ensure that the otherworldly answers she finds never see the light of day…


The National Parks Service Search and Rescue Team knows better than anyone that the woods surrounding the insular town of Mill Creek, West Virginia have a habit of taking people and refusing to give them back. They also know that when you find a door in the woods, you don’t go through it for fear of never coming back again. But Theo's tenacity, and her proclivity for sticking her crooked nose where it doesn’t belong, has caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Reality: those who stand sentinel at the gates of the Infinite Corridor, where endless hostile realities converge. When Theo steps boldly through a door in the woods, she learns just how far they're willing to go in order to keep all its secrets locked tight - even if that means silencing those who stumble upon them permanently.



Fantasy story They of the West by Dani Finn releases on the 20th and promises nonbinary and lesbian rep.


Dralen never could leave well enough alone.


He knows better than to go near the canyons. That’s where the Logans live, wild men of the hills said to devour lone travelers in frenzied midnight feasts.


But the mysterious cloaked figure he saw down by the canyons had to be there for a reason. And he can’t get his Urpa’s poem out of his head: something about “They of the West” and “Treasures buried in memory’s mine.”


Folks used to mine for topaz in the canyons, and other stones too. Magical ones, some said. But the Logans and the cave-in put an end to all that.


Dralen knows he’ll get in trouble if he goes after the cloaked figure, and he’s doubly sure he doesn’t care. Maybe They know something everyone else has forgotten in this little nothing town. Dralen is called to follow Them, but the closer he gets to unraveling the mystery, the more it seems his own journey is just beginning…


They of the West is a fantasy novella set in a brand-new world, a coming-of-age story about friendship, family, and self-discovery. It is the first book in The Scrublands, a planned trio of novellas. It is appropriate for older young adult and adult audiences; content warnings include smoking, drinking, cursing, and brief references to sexual topics.




Katy Haye brings us MM fantasy romance, The Captain and His Thief, on the 24th! Read Katy's article, "Called Out and Welcomed In" here.


Your enemy's enemy is your friend...


Pirate Hakan's crew was scattered when they were sold into slavery a year ago. Now, he'll do whatever it takes to reunite them. Steal a boat? That's nothing! Persuade its furious captain to help? That's harder - until he discovers Ramorran's sworn enemy is the man imprisoning his crew.


Never trust a pirate...


Ramorran abandoned his home for the man he loved, only to be betrayed. Now, he can't return without what his deceitful pirate lover stole. Hakan's offer of help is tempting (like the man himself), but Ramorran is determined never to fall into a pirate's clutches again.


They're stronger together...


Vengeance drives them both like an ocean current, but as enemies multiply, friends show their true colours, and secrets threaten to spill like a boat holed in battle, Hakan and Ramorran will need to trust each other to defeat the deadly pirate king.


And are they both so focused on past hurts that they're missing out on something far more precious right in front of them?



On the 25th comes The Darkest Night by Victoria Hawthorne, a gripping historical suspense.


Some secrets last for generations . . .


A bewitching and haunting story of family secrets - and the lengths some will go to protect them.


When Ailsa Reid becomes the subject of a trial by media after an incident at the school where she works, she escapes to the comfort of her grandparents' house in Fife. But she arrives to find her grandmother, Moira - recently diagnosed with dementia - has gone missing, and her grandfather, Rupert, gravely injured.


Desperate to ensure Moira's safe return, Ailsa must rely on the help of her estranged mother, Rowan, who abandoned her at birth. Tensions simmer between the two women as they attempt to piece together the lead-up to Moira's disappearance.


But in order to move forward and find Moira, both Ailsa and Rowan must go back to the beginning; to a story about witches burned on the hill above the Reid house centuries ago, and the curse laid upon the women that came after. Can they break the bonds of history in time to save their family? Or will the Reid curse be their undoing?





On the 30th, read A Legacy of Stars, the second book in the Fate and Legacy series by Raquel Raelynn for a fantasy featuring a Black sapphic main character.


Amid her lover facing trial for an assault on her fiancé and with an impending arranged marriage to the son of an influential coven leader, Lucia prepares to merge with the destructive celestial power of the Orbis Libra. She navigates a delicate balance—saving Adelaide and restoring harmony among Mystics. However, when hunters launch an unexpected attack and betrayals unravel, Lucia's plans crumble. Forced into hiding, she embarks on a journey of survival, compelled to shield her loved ones and shoulder the weight of a world in turmoil. In her quest, Lucia must secure the support of vampires, battle against mounting challenges, and grow her magic to tip the scales in her favor.


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