Happy Pride Month! To celebrate all the LGBTQIAP+ babes out there, we’re diving into some reads from SparkPress and our sister imprint, She Writes Press, that have LGBTQ+ characters and themes.
Pursuits Unknown* by Ellen Clary
This novel follows Amy, her faithful pup, Lars, and her team of Locate and Investigate professionals as they attempt to discover what happened to Herman McConnell and his data pods. A threatening phone call leaves the owners of four cars as suspects. When bisexual LAI team member Steve meets with his suspect, he quickly deduces that the suspect is a transgender man and is able to eliminate him as a suspect—they know that the perpetrator had a Y chromosome—without outing him with a public-record DNA test.
Profound and Perfect Things by Maribel Garcia
In her twenties, Isa left her hometown so her conservative Mexican-American family wouldn’t discover she’s gay. One fateful night, Isa experiments with a man and ends up pregnant. Her sister, Cristina, has been trying to conceive for years, so it only makes sense to move forward with the pregnancy and have Cristina raise it as her own. That is until Isa bonds with the newborn. Twelve years later, Isa wants to reveal both her sexuality and the child’s true parentage against Cristina’s wishes.
The Infinite Now by Mindy Tarquini
After her parent’s death, Fiora starts to come into her magic—and her sexuality. She spends countless hours in front of her mother’s magical curtain. She also spends more and more time with her new friend and neighbor, Benedetta, to whom she feels an intense connection like she’s never felt before. When she casts a spell to stop time, preventing her new caretaker’s heart attack, she finds herself wanting more and more to be with her new friend. Meanwhile, she’s also getting closer to the man her caretaker thinks is a perfect match.
The Greek Persuasion by Kimberly K. Robeson
Thair has always been obsessed with the myth about Zeus splitting apart soulmates with a magic sword. When her long-time boyfriend dumps her, she decides to escape to Greece for the summer to write. She writes her grandmother’s story, then her mother’s, then finally her own, using the past to make sense of the future. There, she finds obsession anew—with a mysterious woman who swims naked at the beach by her house. From there, her sexuality comes into question and the hunt for her Other Half becomes far more complicated.
Just Like February by Deborah Batterman
To Rachel, there’s no one who compares to her Uncle Jake. He sends her postcards and gifts from the most exotic locales, and tells her stories beyond her imagination. She needs this handsome and mysterious fun uncle as an escape from all the fighting at home. When she discovers that her beloved uncle is gay, she keeps it a secret. She doesn’t even tell anyone when he gets sick. As he lays dying, her heart breaks with the realities of homophobia and AIDS in the ‘80s.
Bound* by Elizabeth Anne Wood
This memoir explores the relationship between mother and daughter. It follows Elizabeth through her dominatrix mother’s journey with cancer. Beyond the heartbreaking moments that come with a cancer memoir and the surprising amount of parallels between being a cancer patient and a dominatrix, there are also great moments of humor. In one memory, Elizabeth recalls the first time she came out to her mother.
“…when I came out to her as queer she was so excited I think she’d have bought me a rainbow glitter unicorn for graduation if such an animal existed (p. 38).”
Gridley Girls by Meredith First
This story follows a group of friends—Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya—in two timelines. One is present day, when the group has reunited for Anne’s wedding. Another is told through flashbacks to high school, when everything was still so new, they were all figuring out who they were, and Anne first told Meg she’s a lesbian for the first time. This truth bomb had a ripple effect in their group, changing the dynamics of their friendships and the ways they would remember high school in years to come.
*not out yet, but available for preorder now