Supporting Debuts: 2022 queer debuts you should make sure not to miss! – Part 6

Nota Bene: an asterisk (*) from here on out will be added near the titles to mean that the book DOES NOT feature queer characters on page (to my knowledge), but the author is queer and therefore still in need of our support as those book are intrinsically queer (or at least I think so, everyone else is absolutely free to feel otherwise).


A Necessary Chaos by Brent Lambert

In a world of magical empires and the anarchists that would tear them down, two mages are each assigned to spy on the other by opposing sides. But when they both catch feelings, what happens when they’re commanded to kill their target?

Release date: Fall 2022


The Final Women by Pardeep Aujla

The mass murdering Phantom of Haven Cove is dead. For the one who killed him, however, life has never been the same.

How do you return to normality after facing such a monster? How do you live when consumed by guilt, anger, fear, and denial? How do you connect with others when no one understands what you’ve been through?

But there are others… Final girls of their own Haven Cove massacres. And now, thirty years later, they must all face a new question…

What do you do when the killer returns?

Release date: January 1st, 2022


Undergrounder by Jae E. Glass

Drowned by men. Saved by a monster.

The last place Alexandra Bailey expects her routine life of domestic journalism to lead is being sucked into icy floodwaters below New York City with a knife in her ribs. Headlines like this happen to other people, but it’s real, and she knows she’s dead. Which makes the circumstances of her survival as impossible as the woman who drags her from the water.

Saved but hardly safe, Alex wakes in the Underground, a world of misfits and monsters thriving below the streets. It’s a journalism goldmine. One Alex can’t resist digging into after learning her beastly savior is Leanna Farrow, adopted daughter of an infamous and “presumed dead” scientist. But Alex’s curiosity, coupled with her rapidly developing feelings for Leanna, put both women in danger when Alex’s inquiries pique the interest of a powerful family with bloody connections to the Underground.

If Alex wants to unravel the secrets of the world below she’ll have to walk the razor’s edge, but some mysteries are better left buried.

Release date: April 1st, 2022


Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans

Since the city of Bezim was shaken half into the sea by a magical earthquake, the Inquisitors have policed alchemy with brutal efficiency. Nothing too powerful, too complicated, too much like real magic is allowed–and the careful science that’s left is kept too expensive for any but the rich and indolent to tinker with. Siyon Velo, a glorified errand boy scraping together lesson money from a little inter-planar fetch and carry, doesn’t qualify.

But when Siyon accidentally commits a public act of impossible magic, he’s catapulted into the limelight. Except the limelight is a bad place to be when the planes themselves start lurching out of alignment, threatening to send the rest of the city into the sea.

Now Siyon, a dockside brat who clawed his way up and proved himself on rooftops with saber in hand, might be Bezim’s only hope. Because if they don’t fix the cascading failures of magic in their plane, the Powers and their armies in the other three will do it for them.

Release date: September 13th, 2022


The Gentleman’s Book of Vices by Jess Everlee

Is their real-life love story doomed to be a tragedy, or can they rewrite the ending?

London, 1883

Finely dressed and finely drunk, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to his vices. Chief among them is his explicit novel collection, though his impending marriage to a woman he can’t love will force his carefully curated collection into hiding.

Before it does, Charlie is determined to have one last hurrah: meeting his favorite author in person.

Miles Montague is more gifted as a smut writer than a shopkeep and uses his royalties to keep his flagging bookstore afloat. So when a cheerful dandy appears out of the mist with Miles’s highly secret pen name on his pretty lips, Miles assumes the worst. But Charlie Price is no blackmailer; he’s Miles’s biggest fan.

A scribbled signature on a worn book page sets off an affair as scorching as anything Miles has ever written. But Miles is clinging to a troubled past, while Charlie’s future has spun entirely out of his control…

Release date: November 29th, 2022


Born Andromeda by K.M. Watts

Being eighteen is difficult, especially when you’re a cyborg and heir to the entire kingdom of the Moon. Disillusioned with royal life, Princess Andromeda dreams of nothing but freedom and adventure outside the protective dome of royalty. But when her parents arrange her marriage to an Earthen prince, she is forced to put her kingdom before her dreams of independence. While traveling to Earth, Andromeda’s ship is attacked by galactic pirates led by her father’s sworn enemy, the Lord Captain Bran. Taken prisoner, Andromeda realizes that her captors are unaware of her true identity and sees an opportunity: To best her enemies, she may have to join them.

Release date: September 15th. 2022


Season of Love by Helena Greer

Miriam Blum has no choice but to face the past she thought she’d left behind when she inherits her great-aunt’s Christmas tree farm in this witty, glittering, heart-filled romcom with “all of the warm, queer, Jewish holiday vibes you could possibly want” (Jen DeLuca, USA Today bestselling author of Well Matched)
 
“A warm, cozy holiday romance . . . a vibrant exploration of embracing that which is most unexpected in life . . . and in love. Best read under the glow of rainbow twinkle lights with a cup of cocoa.”
—Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Thanks to her thriving art career, Miriam Blum finally has her decoupaged glitter ducks in a row—until devastating news forces her to a very unwanted family reunion. Her beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left Miriam part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm.
 
But Miriam’s plans to sit shiva, avoid her parents, then put Carrigan’s in her rearview mirror are spoiled when she learns the business is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager—as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first.
 
Noelle Northwood wants Miriam Blum gone—even if her ingenious ideas and sensitive soul keep showing Noelle there’s more to Cass’s niece than meets the eye. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all—for the chance to make their wildest dreams come true.

Release date; October 11th, 2022


How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

Magically brilliant, academically perfect, chronically overcommitted…

Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. Now that she’s a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s one step closerto winning the full-ride Brockton Scholarship–her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her main competition? Ana freaking �lvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.

When Mr. B persuades Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive, racially diverse musicalat their not-quite-diverse school–she agrees, wearily, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But with rehearsals underway, Shay realizes Ana is…not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could even be a friend–or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she finds herself on the receiving end of Mr. B’s unpleasant and unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when the scholarship–and her future–are on the line?

An unforgettable debut, How to Succeed in Witchcraft conjures up searing social commentary, delightfully awkward high school theater, and magical proclamations of love.

Release date: September 27th, 2022


When They Tell You To Be Good by Prince Shakur

After immigrating from Jamaica to the United States, Prince Shakur’s family is rocked by the murder of Prince’s biological father in 1995. Behind the murder is a sordid family truth, scripted in the lines of a diary by an outlawed uncle hell-bent on avenging the murder of Prince’s father. As Shakur begins to unravel his family’s secrets, he must navigate the strenuous terrain of conquering one’s inner self while confronting the steeped complexities of the Afro-diaspora.


When They Tell You to Be Good charts Prince Shakur’s political coming of age from closeted queer kid in a Jamaican family to radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America. Shakur journeys from France, the Philippines, South Korea, and more to discover the depths of the Black experience, and engages in deep political questions while participating in movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. By the end, Shakur reckons with his identity, his Jamaican family’s immigration to the US before his birth, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.


A profoundly composed narrative parallel in identity to that of George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue and Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Shakur compels the reader to consume the political world of young, Black, queer, and radical millennials today.

Release date: October 4th, 2022


Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland

Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run–especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts. With one touch of any body that passes through Richter Funeral Home, she can awaken the spirit of the departed. With one more touch, she makes the spirit disappear, to a fate that remains mysterious to Georgia. To cope with her deep anxiety about death, she does her best to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased whose ghosts she briefly revives.

Then her classmate Milo’s body arrives at Richter–and his spirit wants help with unfinished business, forcing Georgia to reckon with her relationship to grief and mortality.

Release date: September 6th, 2022


A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

In Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel. He is adrift, caught between his childhood on the reservation and this new life of the urban intelligentsia. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s unnamed narrator chronicles a series of encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted adult from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Amid these conversations, the narrator is haunted by memories of Jack, a cousin caught in the cycle of police violence, drugs, and survival. Jack’s life parallels the narrator’s own; the possibilities of escape and imprisonment are left to chance with colonialism stacking the odds. 

A Minor Chorus introduces the dazzling literary voice of a Lambda Literary Award winner and Canadian #1 national best-selling poet to the United States, shining much-needed light on the realities of Indigenous survival.

Release date: October 4th, 2022


Reforged by Seth Haddon

Since time immemorial the warriors of the Paladin Order have harnessed arcane powers to protect their rulers. For Balen, who has given up his chance at love and fought his way to the top of the Paladin Order, there can be no greater honor than to serve his king. But when assassins annihilate the royal family, Balen suddenly finds himself sworn to serve the very man he abandoned.

Now with their nation threatened by enemies both within and outside the kingdom, Balen must fight hidden traitors and unnatural assassins, while also contending with the biting wit and dangerous charm of young King Zavrius. To save themselves and their nation they will have to put aside their past and reforge that trust they lost so long ago.

Release date: October 4th, 2022


When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it doesn’t have a name other than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.

Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, including Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has abandoned her to marry a man, and Malke Shulman, whose father died mysteriously on his way to America.

But there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, poverty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

With cinematic sweep and tender observation, Sacha Lamb presents a totally original drama about individual purpose, the fluid nature of identity, and the power of love to change and endure.

Release date: October 18th, 2022


The Make-Up Test by Jenny L. Howe

Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight’s Tale—but she’s got this. Until she discovers her ex-boyfriend has also been accepted. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they’re both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on.

What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.

Charmingly bookish and unequivocally fat positive, The Make-Up Test embraces the truth that people can sometimes change and grow, even when you least expect it.

Release date: September 13th, 2022


Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn*

Today is the day Jo Monarch has been wishing on the moon about her entire life. It’s the day of the Line Up, when she could be selected to leave her life in the Ashes behind. The day she could move across the mountains to a glittering, rich future.

Once Jo is plucked from the Line Up, the real test begins. She still needs to impress the New Georgia Reps at tonight’s Gala, and her path forward leads straight to Cove Wells. The damaged stepson of one of the Reps, Cove has been groomed as an emotional weapon, taught that love is a tool — and he’s set on breaking Jo’s heart next.

When a riot breaks out back in the Ashes the night of the Gala, Jo’s dreams might all go up in smoke. Can she really have everything she’s ever wished for… when it means leaving all her loved ones behind in the fire?

Harper Glenn’s debut is as gripping as it is prescient, an unflinching meditation on whether love can save us from ourselves, and what it takes to be born anew.

Release date: October 1st, 2022


You & I, Rewritten by Chip Pons

Not to jinx it or anything, but the stars seem to finally be aligning for Will Cowen. After accepting a dream promotion at one of New York City’s most renowned publishing houses and moving in with his oldest friend, he’s ready to dive headfirst into this new chapter and take the literary world by storm – that is, until he crosses paths with Graham Austin.

No matter how hard he tries, he can’t help but put the wrong foot forward in front of the all-business and inconveniently gorgeous heir to the publishing empire.

So, when a heartbreakingly beautiful manuscript lands on his desk, Will seizes the opportunity for a win. Could this prized new author be his big break or, his downfall?

Will’s confidence and hope for his professional future is obliterated when the author ghosts him at an important publishing event. Fueled by insecurity and an open bar, he finds himself in need of comfort, which comes from the least likely person, the normally cold and distant Graham. This small glimpse behind Graham’s icy exterior is the spark that sweeps these two up in an epic and unforeseen romance.

As his author’s manuscript begins to take shape, the words that initially brought them together become more and more tangled, making it painfully obvious to Will that despite your best efforts, there is truly no hiding from the past.

But can it be rewritten?

Release date: August 23rd, 2022


The Sevenfold Hunters by Rose Egal

There’s nothing hijabi alien hunter Abyan wants more than to graduate from Carlisle Academy and finally rid the Earth of the Nosaru, a species hidden in plain sight.

Everything is going to plan until the Nosaru kill one of Abyan’s squad mates, leaving the team devastated. To make matters worse, the school admins replace her elite squad member with a sub-par new recruit, Artemis. Despite Artemis failing every test—and bringing the team down with her—their cutthroat instructors refuse to kick her out.

Together Abyan, Artemis and the rest of the team unravel the mystery of why Artemis is actually there, what the Nosaru really want, and what Carlisle Academy has been hiding from them all.

Release date: October 25th, 2022


The Other Ones by Fran Hart

Sal lives in a haunted house.
He longs to be ordinary, but when the strangest of strangers arrives on his doorstep – a fellow outcast called Pax – his life grows even more complicated.

Sal goes on to develop an unlikely friendship with Pax, whose love for all things spooky drew him to the house and its inhabitants. But as the two grow closer, the true nature of the hauntings is gradually revealed.

Will Sal find the courage to conquer his ghosts, or will he risk losing Pax for good?

A cosy, contemporary romance and ghost story with spooky Gilmore Girls vibes
Winner of the Times/Chicken House Chairman’s Choice Prize, 2020
An LGBTQ+ romance between two very different boys, who readers will quickly root for and grow to love

Release date: October 1st, 2022


The Unbalancing by R.B Lemberg

In this first full-length novel from the acclaimed Birdverse, new love blossoms between an impatient starkeeper and a reclusive poet as they try together to save their island home. Nebula, Locus, and Ignyte finalist R. B. Lemberg (The Four Profound Weaves) has crafted a gorgeous tale of the inevitable transformations of communities and their worlds. The Unbalancing is rooted in the mystical cosmology, neurodiversity, and queerness that infuses Lemberg’s lyrical prose, which has invited glowing comparisons to N. K. Jemisin, Patricia A. McKillip, and Ursula K. LeGuin.

Beneath the waters by the islands of Gelle-Geu, a star sleeps restlessly. The celebrated new starkeeper Ranra Kekeri, who is preoccupied by the increasing tremors, confronts the problems left behind by her predecessor.

Meanwhile, the poet Erígra Lilún, who merely wants to be left alone, is repeatedly asked by their ancestor Semberi to take over the starkeeping helm. Semberi insists upon telling Lilun mysterious tales of the deliverance of the stars by the goddess Bird.

When Ranra and Lilun meet, sparks begin to fly. An unforeseen configuration of their magical deepnames illuminates the trouble under the tides. For Ranra and Lilun, their story is just beginning; for the people of Gelle-Geu, it may well be too late to save their home

Release date: September 27th, 2022


Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon

“When the Juvenile Transportation Services come for you in the night in a preordained kidnapping, complete with an unmarked van and husky guardsmen you can’t outmatch, you have been sold for a promise.”

A young woman thinks she has escaped her past only to discover that she’s been hovering on its edges all along: She and her younger sister bide their time in a dilapidated warehouse in a desolate town north of New York City; their parents settled there with dreams of starting an art commune. But after the girls’ father vanishes, all traces of stability disappear for the family, and the girls retreat into strange worlds of their own mythmaking and isolation.

As the sisters both try to survive their increasingly dark and dangerous adolescences, they break apart and reunite repeatedly, orbiting each other like planets. Both endure stints at the Veld Center, a wilderness camp where troubled teenage girls are sent as a last resort, and both emerge more deeply warped by the harsh outdoor survival experiences they must endure and the attempts by staff to break them down psychologically.

With a mesmerizing voice and uncanny storytelling style, this is a remarkable debut about two women who must struggle to understand the bonds that link them and how their traumatic history will shape who they choose to become as adults.

Release date: February 15th, 2022


The Work Wife by Alison B. Hart

Zanne Klein never planned to be a personal assistant to Hollywood royalty Ted and Holly Stabler. But a decade in at thirty-eight, that’s exactly how she spends her days, earning six figures to make sure the movie mogul and his family have everything they could ever dream of and more.

However, today is no ordinary day at the Stabler estate. Tonight, everyone who’s anyone will be there for the Hollywood event of the season, and if the party’s a success, that chief of staff job Zanne’s been chasing may soon be hers. Which means she can buy a house, give her girlfriend the life she deserves, pay off her student loans.

Nothing’s going to get in Zanne’s way—not disgruntled staff, not a nosy reporter, not even a runaway hostess. But when Ted’s former business partner, Phoebe Lee, unexpectedly shows up right before go time, Zanne suddenly has a catastrophe unfolding before her—one with explosive consequences. As the truth comes out and Zanne realizes how deeply entangled she’s become in the Stablers’ world, she must decide if the sacrifices she’s made for the job are worth the moral price she has to pay.

Told over the course of a single day and from three fierce perspectives, The Work Wife is a richly observed novel about female ambition, complicity, privilege and what happens when the brightest of stars aren’t allowed to shine.

Release date: July 19th, 2022


Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories edited by Amparo Ortiz and Yamile Saied Méndez

Fifteen original short stories from YA superstars, featuring Latine mythology’s most memorable monsters

From zombies to cannibals to death incarnate, this cross-genre anthology offers something for every monster lover. In Our Shadows Have Claws, bloodthirsty vampires are hunted by a quick-witted slayer; children are stolen from their beds by “el viejo de la bolsa” while a military dictatorship steals their parents; and anyone you love, absolutely anyone, might be a shapeshifter waiting to hunt.

The worlds of these stories are dark but also magical ones, where a ghost-witch can make your cheating boyfriend pay, bullies are brought to their knees by vicious wolf-gods, a jar of fireflies can protect you from the reality-warping magic of a bruja—and maybe you’ll even live long enough to tell the tale. Set across Latin America and its diaspora, this collection offers bold, imaginative stories of oppression, grief, sisterhood, first love, and empowerment.

Full contributor list: Chantel Acevedo, Courtney Alameda, Julia Alvarez, Ann Dávila Cardinal, M. García Peña, Racquel Marie, Gabriela Martins, Yamile Saied Méndez, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, Claribel A. Ortega, Amparo Ortiz, Lilliam Rivera, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Ari Tison, and Alexandra Villasante.

Release date: September 6th. 2022


The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen by Gary Eldon Peter

Set on a small and struggling family dairy operation in southern Minnesota, The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen follows fifteen-year-old Carl as he confronts his crush on Andy Olnan, a handsome and confident but secretive “city boy” recently transplanted to farm life from Minneapolis who may or may not share the same feelings. At the same time, Carl and his father clash over the future of their farm, a legacy of Carl’s late mother: how do they honor her dream for the family while also ensuring financial security? Carl discovers his own resilience in the face of grief, adult-sized decisions, and unrequited love, and along the way learns to cope with both the challenges and rewards of being different.

Release date: July 5th, 2022


Jordie and Joey Fell from the Sky by Judi Lauren

Twin brothers Jordie and Joey have never met their parents. Maybe it’s because they aren’t from this planet?

When another kid at school tried to force Jordie to show him the “crop circles” on his back that prove he’s an alien, it was Joey who took the kid to the ground. And when the twins got kicked out of their foster home because Joey kissed the other boy who lived there, it was Jordie who told him everything would be okay. And as long as Jordie and Joey are together, it will be. But when the principal calls their current foster mother about a fight at school, the boys know she’ll be done with them. And, from spying in their file, they also know they’re going to be separated.

Determined to face the world side by side rather than without one another, Jordie and Joey set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive it.

Release date: April 19th, 2022


Little Foxes Took Up Matches by Katya Kazbek

When Mitya was two years old, he swallowed his grandmother’s sewing needle. For his family, it marks the beginning of the end, the promise of certain death. For Mitya, it is a small, metal treasure that guides him from within. As he grows, his life mirrors the uncertain future of his country, which is attempting to rebuild itself after the collapse of the Soviet Union, torn between its past and the promise of modern freedom. Mitya finds himself facing a different sort of ambiguity: is he a boy, as everyone keeps telling him, or is he not quite a boy, as he often feels?

After suffering horrific abuse from his cousin Vovka who has returned broken from war, Mitya embarks on a journey across underground Moscow to find something better, a place to belong. His experiences are interlaced with a retelling of a foundational Russian fairytale, Koschei the Deathless, offering an element of fantasy to the brutal realities of Mitya’s everyday life.

Release date: April 5th, 2022


The Sign for Home by Blair Fell

When Arlo Dilly learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he takes it as a sign and embarks on a life-changing journey to find his great love—and his freedom.

Arlo Dilly is young, handsome and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.

And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.

Or so Arlo thought.

After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.

No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.

Release date: April 5th, 2022


A Fractured Infinity by Nathan Tavares

Film-maker Hayes Figueiredo is struggling to finish the documentary of his heart when handsome physicist Yusuf Hassan shows up, claiming Hayes is the key to understanding the Envisioner – a mysterious device that can predict the future.

Hayes is taken to a top-secret research facility where he discovers his alternate self from an alternate universe created the Envisioner and sent it to his reality. Hayes studies footage of the other him, he discovers a self he doesn’t recognize, angry and obsessive, and footage of Yusuf… as his husband.

As Hayes finds himself falling for Yusuf, he studies the parallel universe and imagines the perfect life they will live together. But their lives are inextricably linked to the other reality, and when that couple’s story ends in tragedy Hayes realises he must do anything he can to save Yusuf’s life. Because there are infinite realities, but only one Yusuf.

With the fate of countless realities and his heart in his hands, Hayes leads Yusuf on the run, tumbling through a kaleidoscope of universes trying to save it all. But even escaping into infinity, Hayes is running out of space – soon he will have to decide how much he’s willing to pay to save the love of his life.

Release date: November 1st, 2022


The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Inheritance Games in this Black LGBTQ+ royal romp full of heart-swooning romance, scandalous secrets and one hell of a mystery.

James has been a prince all of his life, and since he was born, he’s been thrust into the spotlight as the first Black heir to the throne. But when his father unexpectedly dies, James is crowned king at seventeen. Now, the secrets he could keep as a prince with no real responsibility – namely, his sexuality and hidden relationship – are rocked as his life irrevocably changes.

When his boyfriend suddenly goes missing, the royal secrets and scandals that only he knows start to leak online. And when it becomes clear that whoever is behind the messages isn’t going to stop anytime soon, James begins to question everyone around him .

Release date: July 7th, 2022


The Stars Undying by Emery Robin

Princess Altagracia has lost everything. After a bloody civil war, her twin sister has claimed not just the crown of their planet Szayet but the Pearl of its prophecy, a computer that contains the immortal soul of Szayet’s god. Stripped of her birthright, Gracia flees the planet—just as Matheus Ceirran, Commander of the interstellar Empire of Ceiao, arrives in deadly pursuit with his volatile lieutenant, Anita. When Gracia and Ceirran’s paths collide, Gracia sees an opportunity to win back her planet, her god, and her throne…if she can win the Commander and his right-hand officer over first.

But talking her way into Ceirran’s good graces, and his bed, is only the beginning. Dealing with the most powerful man in the galaxy is almost as dangerous as war, and Gracia is quickly torn between an alliance that fast becomes more than political and the wishes of the god—or machine—that whispers in her ear. For Szayet’s sake, and her own, Gracia will need to become more than a princess with a silver tongue. She will have to become a queen as history has never seen before—even if it breaks an empire.

Release date: November 8th, 2022


Set in StoneSet in Stone by Stela Brinzeanu

In medieval Moldova, two women from opposing backgrounds fall in love.
But this is a world where a woman’s role is defined by religion and class. To make a life together means defying their families, the law, and the Church. The closer they become, and the more they refuse the roles assigned to them, the more sacrifices they have to make. While Mira’s rebellion puts her life in the gravest danger, Elina must fight to change her legal status to ‘son’ so she can inherit her father’s land and change their destiny.

Set in Stone delves into the past to uncover a story which is just as relevant today: the desire to forge your own path while constantly having to resist a patriarchal fear of women’s strength – and how ultimately love can help you choose your own truth.

Release date: August 4th, 2022


Brother Alive by Zain Khalid

An astonishing debut novel about family, sexuality, and capitalist systems of control, following three adopted brothers who live above a mosque in Staten Island with their imam father

In 1990, three boys are born, unrelated but intertwined by circumstance: Dayo, Iseul, and Youssef. They are adopted as infants and live in a shared bedroom perched atop a mosque in one of Staten Island’s most diverse and precarious neighborhoods, Coolidge. The three boys are an inseparable if conspicuous trio: Dayo is of Nigerian origin, Iseul is Korean, and Youssef indeterminately Middle Eastern. Nevertheless, Youssef is keeping a secret: he sees a hallucinatory double, an imaginary friend who seems absolutely real, a shapeshifting familiar he calls Brother.

The boys’ adoptive father, Imam Salim, is known for his radical sermons, but at home he is often absent, spending long evenings in his study with whiskey-laced coffee, writing letters to his former compatriots back in Saudi Arabia. Like Youssef, he too has secrets, including the cause of his failing health and the truth about what happened to the boys’ parents. When Imam Salim’s path takes him back to Saudi Arabia, the boys will be forced to follow. There they will be captivated by an opulent, almost futuristic world, a linear city that seems to offer a more sustainable modernity than that of the West. But they will have to change if they want to survive in this new world, and the arrival of a creature as powerful as Brother will not go unnoticed.

Stylistically brilliant and intellectually acute, Brother Alive is a remarkable novel of family, capitalism, power, sexuality, and the possibility of reunion for those who are broken.

Release date: July 12th, 2022


Death on the Pier by Jamie West

A murder mystery playwright turns real-life detective when, during one of his plays, an actress is shot and killed, while an unsuspecting audience watches on.

This theatrical murder mystery debut from Jamie West introduces Bertie Carroll, one of the most successful playwrights of the 1930s, and his old school friend Chief Detective Inspector Hugh Chapman. Together they team up to see if they can solve the mystery.

During the performance, the audience watches former Hollywood star, Celia Hamilton, as she is shot onstage, unaware that a real murder is taking place. It’s only when the curtain falls that the cast realise that something has gone horribly wrong.

Did someone swap the bullets in the prop gun for real ones, without anyone noticing? The actress who fired the gun doesn’t seem to have any reason for wanting her dead, but is she hiding something?

Together, Bertie and Hugh must unravel the clues as they interview their suspects. As they do, their own friendship is rekindled. But is there something from their own past that needs to be uncovered? Why did Hugh want to meet up after all these years apart?

The story is set in and around The Palace Pier Theatre in Brighton, which no longer exists. This “lost” theatre has been lovingly recreated in the pages of this book.

Release date: October 10th, 2022


Real Sugar is Hard to Find by Sim Kern

A collection of short stories by Sim Kern, Real Sugar is Hard to Find explores intersections of climate change, reproductive justice, queer identities, and family trauma. Whether fantasy, science fiction, or terrifyingly close-to-home, the worlds of these stories are inhabited by flawed characters whose lives are profoundly impacted by climate change and environmental degradation.

Arranged in a progression from dystopian to utopian worlds, the stories chart a path from climate despair towards resilience and revolutionary optimism. Even in the bleakest of futures, however, Kern offers reasons to hope, connect, and keep fighting for a better world.

Like Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners or Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Kern’s stories are unflinching, intimate explorations of trauma and our deepest fears, rendered irresistible through the infusion of fantastic speculative elements and a dark sense of humor.

Release date: August 1st, 2022


Ultimate Gaming Showdown by M.K. England*

Sixty-four teams.
One mysterious grand prize.
Four gamers determined to win it all.

Welcome to Affinity, the hottest battle royale video game in the world! Gamers can be anything they want to be in Affinity’s high-tech, magical universe—and test their skills in fierce PvP combat. So when Hurricane Games announces an epic tournament with killer prizes, four kids form a team that feels unstoppable . . . but also maybe doomed from the start?

Josh is the tank . . . when his parents let him game.
Hannah is the melee fighter . . . but she can only play at the public library.
Larkin is the healer . . . as long as her family’s not around.
Wheatley is the ranger . . . with a secret that might wreck the whole team.

As solo gamers, they’re good. Really good. But the tournament is a whole new level of competition, and it’ll take all four of them to bring it home. Can they step up their game in time for the final match?

Release date: June 7th, 2022


Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup by Andy Sagar*

Yesterday Crumb is no ordinary girl. She was born with fox ears that have cursed her to a lonely life working in the circus and her origins are a complete mystery. But she is about to escape into the adventure of a lifetime when she learns that she’s a strangeling who’s lost her magic.

Taken in by Miss Dumpling the flamboyant tea witch, Yesterday is introduced to a magical, walking teashop filled with fantastical customers, a flying teapot turtle called Pascal and powerful spells in every teacup!

Yesterday starts to rediscover her magic and to feel a sense of belonging. But a mysterious figure of darkness is working hard to ensure her new life comes crashing down – and it all starts with a deadly shard of ice in Yesterday’s heart…

But there’s nothing that can’t be solved with a pot of tea, a slice of cake and a BIG dash of magic!

The first in a new fantasy series for readers aged 8-12, about a girl with fox ears who has never fitted in. With adventure and magic in every teacup, this is perfect for fans of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency and Starfell.

Release date: March 17th, 2022


The Barrens by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson

This riveting debut is at once a white-water adventure, coming-of-age novel, and tale of tragic love—and an extraordinary father-daughter collaboration. 

Two young women attending college decide to have a summer adventure canoeing the rapids-strewn Thelon River that runs 450 miles through the uninhabited Barren Lands of subarctic Canada. Holly made the trip once before with a group of skilled paddlers she trained with at camp, and she wants to share that experience with her friend and lover, Lee, believing it will draw them closer. But a week in, Holly, the risk-taker, falls while taking a selfie near the edge of a cliff. She is left injured and comatose, and soon dies. Their locator beacon for summoning rescue was smashed in Holly’s fall. It remains to Lee, the inexperienced paddler, to continue the grueling and dangerous trip alone, to save herself and return her lover’s body to civilization and Holly’s family.

In their relationship, Holly and Lee had always told each other stories; Lee had called Holly a “storyist.” Storytelling helps Lee endure the rigors of her journey and engage her grief as she explores her relationship with Holly while chronicling her own coming-of-age off the grid in Nebraska with her estranged eco-anarchist father, who is now serving time in prison.

Release date: May 3rd, 2022


The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, where Marvellers from all around the world come together to practice their cultural arts like brewing Indian spice elixirs, practicing Caribbean steel drum hypnosis, and bartering with fussy Irish faeries. Ella knows some people mistrust her Conjuror magic, often deemed “bad and unnatural,” but she’s eager to make a good impression—and, hopefully, some friends.

But Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy, and not all of the Marvellers are welcoming. Still, she connects with fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, who is never found without a magical creature or two. Just as Ella begins to find her way at the A.T.I., a notorious criminal escapes from prison, supposedly with Conjurors’ help. Worse, her favorite teacher Masterji Thakur never returns from a research trip, and only Ella seems concerned about his disappearance.

As tensions grow in the Marvellian world, Ella finds herself the target of vicious rumors and growing suspicions. With the help of her new friends, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her beloved mentor Masterji Thakur . . . before she loses her place at the A.T.I. forever.

Release date: May 3rd, 2022


Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance by John Waters*

Marsha Sprinkle: Suitcase thief. Scammer. Master of disguise. Dogs and children hate her. Her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s disturbed, and she’s on the run with a big chip on her shoulder. They call her Liarmouth–until one insane man makes her tell the truth.

John Waters’s first novel, Liarmouth, is a perfectly perverted “feel-bad romance,” and the reader will thrill to hop aboard this delirious road trip of riotous revenge.

Release date: May 3rd, 2022


Apparition by Zahlia Amin

Destiny is only the beginning…

There might be a devastating power awakening inside Aleena, but that won’t stop her from protecting the hot couple living in the woods. She might also be a ghost sporting a massive crush on them, but that won’t stop her either. Frankly, with a mouthwateringly gorgeous werewolf and stunning smart-mouth healer going at it like rabbits, who can really blame her?

Figures they’d end up being prophesied to save the world. Phantoms just can’t have nice things. When a sinfully flirty mage joins them as their fellow saviour, the puzzle pieces finally start to fall in place as they embark on their quest.

There’s just one problem. Aleena doesn’t know where she fits.

Only one thing is for certain. The magic exploding inside her? It’s out for blood.

Aleena is all too willing to oblige.

Anything for them.

Release date: July 11th, 2022


Every Version of You by Grace Chan

In late twenty-first century Australia, Tao-Yi and her partner Navin spend most of their time inside a hyper-immersive, hyper-consumerist virtual reality called Gaia. They log on, go to work, socialise, and even eat in this digital utopia. Meanwhile their aging bodies lie suspended in pods inside cramped apartments. Across the city, in the abandoned ‘real’ world, Tao-Yi’s mother remains stubbornly offline, preferring instead to indulge in memories of her life in Malaysia.

When a new technology is developed to permanently upload a human brain to Gaia, Tao-Yi must decide what is most important: a digital future, or an authentic past.

Never Let Me Go meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Murakami surrealism thrown in, this is speculative literary fiction at its best.

Release date: July 26th, 2022


This Arab Is Queer: An Anthology by LGBTQ+ Arab Writers edited by Elias Jahshan

‘We will repeat it often in the months that follow, to friends who were not there, to sceptics, to ourselves: in that moment, it felt like pride.’ 

For the first time, LGBTQ+ Arabs come together to share their personal stories of hope, struggle and love. This ground-breaking anthology features the searingly honest and moving memoirs of eighteen queer Arab writers – some internationally bestselling, others using pseudonyms. Here, we find heart-warming connections and moments of celebration, alongside essays exploring the challenges of being LGBTQ+ and Arab.

From a military base in the Gulf to whispers between lovers caught between the bedsheets; and from a concert in Cairo where the rainbow flag was raised to a crowd of thousands, to making it happen as a drag queen in exile, this collection celebrates the true colours of a rich, vibrant Arab queer experience.

Release date: June 16th, 2022


5 thoughts on “Supporting Debuts: 2022 queer debuts you should make sure not to miss! – Part 6

  1. Thanks for this list! I didn’t know many of the books on this list and can’t wait to check them out. They all look so interesting esp How o Succeed in Witchcraft!

    Liked by 1 person

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