True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Featured Author & Giveaway: K.Z. Snow

K.Z. Snow
K.Z. Snow is a lifelong resident of the upper Midwest, urban and rural (currently the latter). Her parents were tavernkeepers. As a result, she learned her first words off a jukebox. It also gave her dancing feet. She's known a lot of people and done a lot things, from teaching English and creative writing at UW-Madison to winning an amateur-night contest at a sleazy strip club in St. Paul. She loves nature and critters, dogs in particular, although she relishes burning ticks to a crisp. Like Danny in The Shining, a little boy lives in her mouth -- except he’s usually a gay boy. When people ask her what she's doing, they often get the answer, “KZ’s not here, Mrs. Torrance.” This tends to confuse the hell out of them. Not surprising, since nobody she knows is named Mrs. Torrance.

Connect with K.Z. Snow on Twitter @k_z_snow or visit her website: and blog:

Q&A with Author K.Z. Snow:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    Sheesh, there are so many to choose from! Maybe Carny Jessup, the unapologetically tough and vulgar city kid from Carny’s Magic who turns to mush when he falls for a guy named Peter. I wouldn’t mind being him for a few reasons. First, he’s in the first flush of love when the novel ends. Second, he has boundless energy. Third, a charismatic (and hot) urban wizard, Jackson Spey, has sort of taken Carny under his wing and become a mentor/surrogate father to him. As Carny, I’d like to spend a rainy summer day in a grand old movie theater with my boyfriend. We’d sit in the balcony, holding hands, making out, and munching snacks while watching a double feature. In the evening, assuming the sky has cleared, we’d have dinner at Jackson’s flat, then either go to Summerfest or sit outside the flat, just chatting and sharing some beers and watching the world go by.

  2. Please tell us what inspired you to begin writing Young Adult?

    The fact I was once a young adult myself. Seriously. It’s the most defining period in a person’s life, aside from those first seven formative years. A phoenix-like time, really, of growth and repeated immolation and resurrection. So many dreams battling with self-doubt, so much excitement combined with fear, so much wonder. It’s too much to appreciate while you’re going through it, so it’s best appreciated in retrospect.

  3. Can you tell readers a little bit about the characters Jess and Mig a.k.a. Dylan in The Zero Knot?

    On the surface they seem like a case of opposites attracting, but inside, where it counts, they’re a perfect fit. It just took them 18 years and a lot of unflinching self-examination to realize that.

  4. The Zero Knot has these amazing secondary characters. Could you tell us what your favorite secondary character in The Zero Knot is and how this character was created?

    Without a doubt, Jared (Jesse’s 15-year-old brother). I didn’t create him so much as release him from my brain, fully formed, and let him have his way. I swear that little SOB took on a life of his own. If he weren’t straight, I’d give him his own book. ☺

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    A sense of life’s possibilities – the glorious ones, not the dismal ones. Belief in yourself, combined with hope and determination and the courage of your convictions, will never lead to a dead end. I know that’s hard to keep in mind sometimes, but it’s true. And I learned it through experience, by the way, not from Oprah.

Now Available from K.Z. Snow:

Xylophone by K.Z. SnowXylophone (Recommended Age 18+)
The most consequential secret of Daren Boothe’s life centers on an unlikely object: a xylophone. His professional alter-ego, a sensual, androgynous performer, was born of that secret. When Dare begins his second and considerably more wholesome job playing clarinet in a polka band, he meets an unassuming young man who takes his grandmother out dancing each week—a man with his own shrouded past.

Jonah Day immediately recognizes the clarinetist. Three years earlier they’d crossed paths in a therapist’s office, but they’d both abandoned that route to mental health. Neither was ready then to open up about the psychological traumas that haunted them and had adversely affected their lives.

In an attempt to heal their wounds, Dare and Jonah turn to each other. Understanding and empathy come instantly, accompanied by ambivalence about their growing attraction. But the repercussions of victimization are many . . . and, often, impossible to anticipate. Regardless of their bond, Dare and Jonah could easily be driven apart by the very experiences they share.

Eighteen-year-old Jess Bonner is casting off pretense—and, with it, some friends from his past who aren’t particularly trustworthy. In just a few months he’ll be starting college, and it’s time for him to admit the truth: he’s gay, not bi, and only one of his old friends holds any kind of real interest for him. When Dylan Finch, aka Mig, follows his lead and puts some distance between himself and the old crowd, he and Jess give in to a mutual attraction that’s been building for years.

But navigating a fledgling relationship isn’t easy for beginners, and forces they can’t seem to control keep tripping them up: sexual appetite, personal insecurities, fear of discovery, and more. They need clarity. They need courage. Just as they’re on the verge of finding both, a vindictive act of jealousy sends one of them to jail. All their hard-won victories are in danger of falling to dust. And the only way to save what they have is to recognize it for what it is… and fight for its integrity.

K.Z. Snow's Giveaway!

K.Z. Snow has generously donated a free e-copy of either Xylophone or The Zero Knot for one lucky winner. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment below along with your email address. A winner will be chosen March 3rd.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Featured Author: John H. Ames

John H. Ames
John H. Ames was born in El Salvador C.A. He currently lives in Belize and began writing in 2008. He posted some of his work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, he completed several full-length novels under his pen name, John Henry Ames. His first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. The story chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. His passions are writing, reading and spending time with the ones he loves.

Connect with John H. Ames on Twitter @JohnHenryAmes or visit his website:

Q&A with Author John H. Ames:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    I would love to swap places with Nick Hawking from Surviving Elite High. I find him to be interesting and unique. Surviving Elite High is told in John’s point of view, and we don’t get to see what’s going on in Nick’s head or what he does when he’s far away from John. It would be great to see what he does on an average and regular day -- you know, simple guy stuff.

  2. Please tell us what inspired you to write Surviving Elite High.

    I love YA adult novels with a good jock/nerd theme. The first m/m romance that I read was A Better Place by Mark A. Roeder. That little novel has a jock/nerd theme, and I absolutely loved it. I researched for that genre and came across Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. I fell in love with that novel almost instantly. That little work of fiction inspired me to write Surviving Elite High.

  3. What's up next for you?

    Right now I’m finishing Surviving Elite High: Senior Year and Surviving Elite High: Loving James. Senior Year is the ending to Nick and John’s love story while Loving James is a small spinoff that I wrote for a very popular character in the Surviving Elite High series, Jacob Ashmore. I’m also working in my first mainstream novel, Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories. That novel might come out around summer time, so be ready to embrace it. It’s a little bit of Twilight’s love story and Harry Potter’s magic with very unique little twists.

  4. What do you like most about writing Young Adult?

    I love the fact that you can basically recreate your teenage years and make them a little more interesting and fun. You can also let other people into your mind and teach them a lesson or two. Writing makes life fun, exciting, and enjoyable. Let me tell you something; my life was boring before I started writing. My novels made it fresh and amusing. It keeps me moving forward, and it allows me to meet new people.

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    I want my readers to learn that nothing is impossible. Once you set your mind on a goal, never ever give up. Keep going until you can’t any more, and even then, you shouldn’t give up. Many doors will be closed, but there will be an open one that will take you to the perfect road. Remember, life is simple. If you love someone, go for it. It’s better to have tried than never to have tried at all.

Now Available from John H. Ames:

Surviving Elite High John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies.

On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school's star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John's help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them, even as several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever.

Coming Soon from John H. Ames:

Surviving Elite High And you thought last year was full of drama, suspense and romance? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

After a summer of love, hard work and…ahem…cohabitation, Nick and John are beginning their senior year. However, putting the memory of last year’s turbulent events at Elite High behind them proves harder than ever. Mysterious notes begin to appear inside John’s locker. Something is definitely wrong since the writer of the notes is none other than Matthew Ward, the homicidal student who nearly killed John. Is Matthew now free to finish what he started?

As if that weren’t bad enough, a new girl at school has an obsession with Nick that makes her do terrible things, things that threaten to tear Nick and John apart at every turn. Will Nick and John ever find happiness and stability together? Or will they end up going their separate ways? All of these questions and more will be answered in part two of the Surviving Elite High saga!

Surviving Elite High Surviving a normal high school is hard enough. Surviving Elite High? Close to impossible! Not until you learn the difference between love and obsession…

Sixteen year old James Gordon has it all. He’s rich, studious, and bears quite a strong resemblance to Justin Bieber. So, what’s stopping him from being a normal kid in high school? The deadly jocks. They torment anyone who’s gay or possibly closeted, even though Nick Wild Hawk, star of the football team and the love of his life, John, came out to the whole school in previous years and made being gay at Elite High just another walk of life. However, even though the jocks have bullied James nonstop and made his life a living hell, he can’t help but fantasize about the king of the jocks, Nathan Parker. Nathan is rugged, straight and the most popular guy in school. When fate intercepts and places James and Nathan under the same roof, James’ torture really begins. And yet, through it all, James hopes that that his steadfast love for Nathan will change the jock into a lover rather than an abuser. Unless a certain hot, loyal, guy in the background can find a way to show James he is really, truly loved, and has been for a long time. Before it’s too late…

Surviving Elite High: Loving James is the third part of the Surviving Elite High Saga which features one the most famous and loved characters in the series, Jacob Ashmore.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Featured Author: David Colby

David Colby
David Colby , heavily influenced by George Romero movies and bad, poorly dubbed anime, decided to start writing almost twelve years ago. It went poorly. But despite these early setbacks, David continued to work and write and send out submissions until someone was mad enough to accept him. Currently living with his parents, David has a BA in English and a desire to use it. He splits his time between writing, running a weekly D&D game and being a crossing guard.

Connect with David Colby on Twitter @therealzoombie or visit his website: and blog:

Q&A with Author David Colby:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    It would be cheating to say Trejo – the main character from my unfinished YA utopia, Walkabout. The only problem is all my other characters – Dru, Jillian, 45C, River – are in interesting times. Read: Dangerous. Dru gets shot at for a living, 45C stabs fairies with lightsabers (that is, she has the lightsabers, fairies don’t need lightsabers, they can skeletonize a cow in under four seconds) and River lives in an era without the Internet. Still, of all of them, 45C has the best downtime. She’s a national hero, has wings (wings are awesome) and has a huge club of fans. So, if I were her for 24 hours then the worst I’d have to do is make a speech, say my catch-phrase and pose for pinup tapestries. As for what I’d do…I think I would fly.

    And have sex with her love interest.

    He has four arms. I once described him to my editor as “A sexy General Grevious.” She didn’t speak to me for like a week!

  2. If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

    Shapeshifting. Now, some people say that teleportation is the best power, but they are wrong. Shapeshifting lets you explore the vast, murky depths of gender. Also, it lets you emulate any power: If you want super-strength then shapeshift to become someoneth super-strength. If you want to teleport, the shapeshift to become a blink dog (I.E, a dog that can teleport). Also, I could become a dragon! Now, you may ask why I want to be a dragon. The answer: Dragons are awesome.

  3. Can you tell readers a little bit about the science fiction novel, Debris Dreams?

    The most common comment I’ve gotten about Debris Dreams has been that people hadn’t known that the main character – Drusilla Xao or Dru for short – was a girl. They had read the voice, read the “having a girlfriend” aspect and immediately thought boy. This does not surprise me. What does bemuse me is that so many people act like I didn’t…mean to do this. I wrote DD to try and show a future where gender and sex are mostly a non-issue. I wanted to show a future where girls are not constrained to being about dresses or being focused on marriage or children – and, frankly, a future where boys are not forced to being “macho” or tough.

    Of course, what I want and what is really true are not the same thing. So, it always could be that I just am terrible at writing female characters. But that’s for you guys to judge.

  4. Behind the scenes, you mentioned a love for Rogue Trader Games. So, curious as I was, I looked it up. I’m detecting a love for science fiction. Am I correct and can we expect more YA science fiction novels in the future?

    I need to nerd for a bit. Rogue Trader is easily the least “science” science fiction thing since Star Wars. Starships are five kilometer long flying battle churches, where ancient, barely functioning machinery is operated by superstitious crews that number in the hundreds of thousands. Interstellar travel is made possible by ripping a hole into Hell – literally, a hellish sub-dimension full of soul devouring daemons who spit in the face of physics – and flying through it with the ship’s crew praying frantically that they don’t all die horribly. Starship combat is more similar to the wooden ships and iron men of the 1800s, where massive broadsides of “macrocannons” fill space with shells the size of small apartment blocks.

    So…it is both correct and not correct to assume a future of YA science fiction novels. Because while I do love science fiction, I also enjoy the absurd taken to logical conclusions: In Rogue Trader, everything I previously mentioned is internally consistent and makes sense within the context of the universe. I want to write both the hard-nosed realistic books (like Debris Dreams) but I also want to write…the obscenely absurd (yet strangely logical). Stories about clay golems armed with light-sabers and magitech cybernetic prosthesis who battle shapeshifting fairies. About two teenagers – one an anarchist with a handheld nanofabricator and a pistol, the other the representative of a voluntary cybernetic collective consciousness – wandering around a post-apocalyptic utopia in search of as much weirdness as humanly possible. About a magical hermaphrodite with the ability to see human souls as projected metaphors that cloak the everyday bodies of regular people who uses her/his power to solve crimes for the magical FBI. About the temporally displaced teenager from 1968 who spends most of her time bartering weed for spare parts with the time displaced alternate history time traveling Russians from across the valley…in 2,000,000 BCE.

    Science may be here. But so will fantasy.

    And just a touch of abject lunacy.

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    Rape culture is an abomination that must be battled in every arena (memetic and otherwise). Homosexuality and heterosexuality are not binary options, but rather a shifting continuum. Gender is a construct, one to be explored and celebrated, not categorized and enforced. To love not just yourself, your family, your country and your God(s), but also to love the universe and humanity and the simple fact that we orbit a constantly exploding lump of hydrogen on a ball of mostly rock…and that we, as a species, have learned all of this while clinging to this rock and…


    Through some…astounding capacity of intellectual prowess…we have managed to become blasé about this.

    And, of course, the final lesson, the most important one: Buy my books! Buy all of my books!

Now Available from David Colby:

In space, one mistake can be deadly…even more so when you’re at war. After a terrorist attack, Spacer teen Drusilla Xao is drafted into a war fought in the cold of space, with no hope of relief or reinforcements. The only thing that keeps her sane is her correspondence with her earthbound girlfriend Sarah, and the dream of one day setting foot on Earth. The hardest part of being conscripted isn't learning to kill – it's learning to survive.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Social Skills by Sara Alva

Social Skills by Sara Alva True Colorz Honor Roll

Social Skills by Sara Alva

Published by Sara Alva
312 Pages

Blurb: Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison.

Jared’s attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor’s self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?

Review: Connor is shy. The rest of his family, on the other hand, lie on the opposite end of the introvert/extrovert spectrum and just don’t get why Connor is the way he is. The constant criticism from his parents and his inability to relax and speak freely around others have torn down his self-esteem over the years. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely, and now that Connor is in his freshman year of college, he finds that he is both. He wants to make friends. It’s just so hard.
"Rebecca rolled her eyes and the banter continued, right over Connor’s head. He chewed and swallowed methodically, nodding and smiling when he felt it appropriate, and silently wishing he were a more interesting person so he could quit being a shadow on the sidelines of his own life."
The frisbee scene in chapter one nearly brought me to tears because it’s so real. That’s exactly what it’s like for a shy person trying to fit in. We try and we fail. And it hurts. But we suck it up and go on because that’s just who we are. Sara Alva perfectly captures what it’s like to be shy. I’ve experienced so many of the same feelings as Connor. My heart went out to him time and time again as I watched him struggle to overcome his social anxiety.

Not only has Sara Alva developed a rich, three-dimensional character in Connor, but the other characters in the novel are also well fleshed out. Connor’s relationship with Rebecca builds slowly and evolves into a beautiful friendship. His rocky relationship with Jared, an athlete who is part of the “in-crowd”, is portrayed realistically as well. It isn’t easy for these boys to move forward in their relationship, but they care enough about each other to try. It’s hard to see them hurt, but easy to empathize with them–and even easier to root for them as a couple and hope for a happy ending!

Review by Madison

Monday, February 4, 2013

Featured Author & Giveaway: Annameekee Hesik

Annameekee Hesik
Annameekee Hesik came out when she was fifteen and has since been obsessed with rainbows. She lives, teaches, and slurps down mocha shakes in Santa Cruz, CA, and also writes books that she hopes will help LGBTQ teens feel like they’re not the only you-know-who girls in the world.

Connect with Annameekee Hesik on Twitter @youknowwhogirls or visit her website:

Q&A with Author Annameekee Hesik:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    Oh, that’s a good question. I would totally love to walk a day in Garrett’s Nikes. She oozes confidence, has great curves, and says and does what she wants. She’s super sassy and tells it like it is, and I can’t get away with that in my real life. I would have all the answers, make heads turn with my skills on the court, and eat French fries to my heart’s content! I’d probably call up Abbey to give her some sage advice and then drag her to the park to join a pick-up basketball game. Then maybe more French fries. Yes, definitely more French fries.

  2. Please tell us what inspired you to begin writing Young Adult? Did being a teacher factor in?

    Being a teacher definitely influenced my decision to write YA books. When I first started teaching, I really wanted to stock my classroom library with books that touched on the contemporary issues that my students were experiencing. (Don’t get me wrong, I love books like Anne of Green Gables, too!) So I started reading all sorts of YA books- especially books for my LGBTQ students. There were a lot of great books for my boy students, but the selection of books for my middle and high school lesbian students was kind of small and, well, not really diverse. So, I decided one night that I should write my own book for my students. If I wanted them to see characters that were bilingual like them and imperfect and hilarious like them, then I better make up my own. I also wanted them to read a story that was uplifting and funny, despite all the drama that is a realistic part of being a teenager. Writing wasn’t new to me; I minored in creative writing at UC Davis, but I mostly wrote fiction and poetry. It was inspiring to have a very specific audience in mind while writing The You Know Who Girls. My goal was to write the kind of book I wish had been in my school library when I was coming out in high school and falling for girls. I’m so excited to finally share my work with my students and other teens (and grownups!) around the globe.

  3. Can you tell readers a little bit about The You Know Who Girls?

    The star of The You Know Who Girls is Abbey Brooks. She’s a tall, clumsy, unsure freshman who gets love struck while ordering French fries from the very flirtatious and sexy Hot Dog on a Stick Chick at the mall. (A detect a theme of French fries in this interview!) What follows are adventures in love and friendship that Abbey could have never imagined experiencing or enjoying. Garrett and Stef, Gila High’s most vocal and recognized on-campus lesbians, act as Abbey’s guides as she discovers that she is a you-know-who-girl, too. It’s a fun, flirty, and fast-paced novel that everyone, gay or straight, who has ever fallen in love and lived to tell about it can relate to.

  4. Can we look forward to a sequel in the future? And if yes, when?

    Yes! Abbey’s sophomore year is in the works! I wish I could give you a definite date, but since I am only on chapter 15, with 15 more to go, it’s going to be at least a year until it’s out on bookshelves. Total bummer, I know. I promise to work diligently into the wee hours to get it done as soon as possible.

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    I really want my readers have a good laugh, feel like they are right there in the halls of Gila High with Abbey, and realize that even when life feels like one disaster after another, it all works out in the end. Like Harvey Milk said, “You gotta give em hope!” I want my lesbian readers feel like they are not alone- that they are not the only you-know-who-girls in the world. And I want my non-LGBTQ readers see that Abbey’s story isn’t just about coming out as a lesbian; it’s about love, and friendship, and heartaches, and surviving it all. It’s about learning who you are, figuring out what you want, and learning to laugh at yourself once in a while. If none of that sinks it, I hope at least all my readers learn that ordering French fries at the mall could change everything…in a good way!

Now Available from Annameekee Hesik:

Abbey Brooks, Gila High freshman-to-be, never thought a hellish day of shopping at the mall with her best friend Kate could change her life. But when she orders french fries from the flirtatious Hot Dog on a Stick Chick, she gets more than deep-fried potatoes.

Abbey tries to ignore the weird, happy feeling in her gut, but that proves to be as impossible as avoiding the very insistent (and—rumor has it—very lesbian) players on Gila High’s girls’ basketball team. They want freakishly long-legged Abbey to try out, and Abbey doesn’t hate the idea. But Kate made Abbey pinky swear to avoid basketball and to keep away from the you-know-who girls on the team.

Sometimes promises can’t be kept. And sometimes girls in uniform are impossible to resist.

The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year Giveaway!

Annameekee Hesik has generously donated a free copy of The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year for one lucky winner. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment below along with your email address. A winner will be chosen February 10th.

New Releases for February 2013

Featured New Releases:

Clueless by J. Roman

Clueless by J. Roman

Published by Harmony Ink Press

Out jock Tommy Johnson and former bully Jason Strummer have settled into a surprisingly comfortable routine. They’re even planning a special camping trip for just the two of them for their one-month anniversary. Tommy doesn’t think things can get any better—until Jason’s past catches up to them.

Jason’s stepdad will stop at nothing to put Jason back in his place. As Jason spins out of control, Tommy tries desperately to hold the edges of their world together. But the pressure of dealing with Jason’s increasingly erratic behavior and keeping a growing number of secrets under wraps may prove too much for Tommy to handle. Then Jason blows it and their comfy world falls apart. When he finally texts Tommy for help, they both learn some secrets aren’t worth keeping.

You Belong With Me by Jeff Erno

You Belong With Me by Jeff Erno

Published by Harmony Ink Press

Wesley Harris is sixteen and openly gay, at least to his family and friends. Often bullied at school, he's shy and reserved. Wesley has a penchant for designing T-shirts, and he's a gifted artist. When Brad Johnson, one of the school's most admired jocks, moves in next door, the two boys begin to develop a friendship. It begins when they see each other through their bedroom windows and start exchanging notes with each other. Brad has a notebook upon which he writes messages which he holds up for Wesley to read, Wesley returns the gesture. This unique manner of communication leads them into a genuine friendship in which Brad confides in Wesley the issues with which he's struggling. His parents are divorcing, his girlfriend is cheating on him, and his father is critical of everything he does. Most significantly, Brad confesses to Wesley that he thinks he might be bisexual.

Love in the Spotlight by Zoe Lynne

Love is in the Spotlight by Zoe Lynne

Published by Silver Stream Press

There's nothing in the world Steven won't do for his best friend Becca, including ditching his schoolwork -- something he would never do -- just to escort her to some club so she can chase down her dream boy who happens to be the drummer in some kind of band. He didn't expect to set eyes on the most godly creation under the stars, and sure didn't expect that gorgeous hunk of man to have the voice of an angel. While Becca and Mr. Dreamboat drummer boy get to know each other better in the diner parking lot after the big show, Steven and Thorne discover a mutual love for pancakes and hot maple syrup -- not that flavored crap -- that opens doors to a relationship Steven never expected to find when he agreed to go out with Becca that night. But will Thorne ever be able to stand-up to his homophobic bandmates and come out so he can finally find love?

Surviving Elite High by John H. Ames

Surviving Elite High by John H. Ames

Published by Budding Moon Press

John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school's star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John's help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them, even as several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever.

Wonderland by David-Matthew Barnes

Wonderland by David-Matthew Barnes

Published by Bold Stroke Books

After her mother loses her battle to cancer, fifteen-year-old Destiny Moore moves from Chicago to Avalon Cove, a mysterious island in South Carolina. There, she starts a new life working part-time as a magician’s assistant and living with her eccentric uncle Fred and his hottie husband, Clark. Destiny is soon befriended by two outcasts, Tasha Gordon and Topher McGentry. She accepts their invitation to accompany them to a place called Wonderland, a former boarding house owned by the enigmatic Adrianna Marveaux. It’s there that Destiny meets and falls in love with Dominic, Tasha becomes enamored with Juliet, and Topher gives his heart to Pablo. When Destiny uncovers the reason she and her friends have really been brought to Wonderland, she’s faced with the most crucial choice of her life.