Dahlia’s Book Club: May 2016

Welcome to Dahlia’s book club, wherein I rec four books in each of five categories every month and hope that you read them. If you do, and you leave a link to a review for at least one of them in the comments, you’ll be entered to win one of three prizes every month – one entry per book. If you read and review* one in each and every category, you automatically win. The last weekday of the month is your last day to submit a review, and the length of the review does not matter, but it must be posted to Goodreads and Amazon or BN.com to be eligible for a prize. Simple enough, right?

If a title’s in blue, it means I haven’t read it yet either – let’s do it together, shall we?

*To enter to win a prize, your review must be new. To be eligible for the Five Reviews Insta-prize, up to two of your reviews can be old, as long as they’re on they’re Amazon.

If you’re loving something you’re reading from the list, please share on hashtag #DahlBC!

YA Published Before This Year

*Reviews of either of the other books in the trilogy count as well

YA Published This Year

*A review of The Wrath and the Dawn counts as well

Out This Month+

+Anything in this category is still due by end of month for that month’s prize, but these books will continue to make you eligible for an entry for the next month. If you reviewed one of January’s books in this category, link in the comments to be eligible to win this month!

2016 Debut

Non-YA

As for the prizes:

  1. An ARC of Tumbling by Caela Carter (US only)
  2. An ebook of Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli
  3. A paperback of Pointe by Brandy Colbert
  4. An signed paperback of Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

#DVpit SPOTLIGHT SERIES #5: April 8, 2016

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Welcome to the final day of the #DVpit agent spotlight! Settle in and get to know the final six agents being featured this week!

Taylor

Taylor Martindale Kean is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring all genres of young adult and middle grade fiction and non-fiction. She is particularly interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices, with character-driven stories that stay with you. Her clients include Emery Lord, Anna-Marie McLemore, Aisha Saeed, Annie Cardi, Lois Miner Huey and more.

“I am looking for fresh, diverse stories and voices in both fiction and non-fiction. I love seeing stories that broaden horizons for all readers, exploring culture, language, heritage and identity in all genres. We live in a wonderfully diverse world, with so many incredible facets, and I want to read more stories that reflect that world with authenticity and heart.”

@TMartindaleKean
http://www.fullcircleliterary.com

Susa

Susan Hawk is an agent at the Bent Agency, where she reps children’s books, picture book through YA.

“I’m looking for any kind of diverse stories, particularly for MG: fantasy that’s based on non-Western folklore or legend; gripping historical fiction set outside Europe or the US; protagonists of color, are LGBTQ, and/or have a physical or mental disability. What I love most are stories with vivid characters, that will open minds and stay with kids forever.”

@susanhawk
www.thebentagency.com

Jess

Jess Regel is a literary agent at Foundry Literary + Media. Online she can be found at: @jessregel and www.foundrymedia.com/team/jessica.

”I’m looking for middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction—any and all gender/sex/race/religion/minority welcome, as long as it is integral to how the story must be told and not inserted to be “buzzy”. Quite simply I am looking for unique voices that pull me into the narrative and characters that jump off the page. For books that become “must reads” not just for kids, but for thoughtful readers of any age.“

Maggie

Maggie Riggs is the principal agent of The Riggs Agency, a boutique literary agency specializing in literary fiction, as well as select non-fiction including narrative non-fiction, essays, memoir, and food writing. Prior to founding the agency, Maggie worked as an editor at Viking, an associate agent at The Friedrich Agency, and as an independent editor at NY Book Editors.

“I am particularly interested in works from fiction writers of color in the U.S., writers from underrepresented countries (and their experiences both at home and in the U.S.), and authors writing about underrepresented class groups. As one example, one of my current clients is an Albanian-American woman writing about life in Albania under Communist rule. Some authors whose work I’ve admired over the last few years include Jesmyn Ward, Tiphanie Yanique, James Hannaham, Kirsten Valdez Quade, Justin Torres, and NoViolet Bulawayo. I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to take on work from authors writing in similar veins.”

@maggie_riggs
www.riggslit.com

Patricia

Patricia Nelson has been a literary agent with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency since 2014. She represents young adult and middle grade fiction, women’s fiction, contemporary and historical romance, and select adult literary fiction.

“My tastes range widely, and in #DVpit I’ll be looking to find gems in all categories I represent. On the adult side, I’ll be keeping an eye out especially for #ownvoices adult contemporary romance of all sorts, culturally diverse women’s fiction with a magical realist thread and/or a story involving family secrets, and LGBTQ literary fiction that feels fresh and new (think along the lines of ADAM by Ariel Schrag or THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPIE STARK by Anna North). In terms of YA and MG, right now I’d particularly love to see voicey contemporary realistic coming of age stories by authors of color, as well as culturally diverse magical realism with a literary feel. I’m also actively looking for LGBTQ contemporary middle grade with humor and heart.”

@patricianels
www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com

Carrie

Carrie Pestritto is an agent with Prospect Agency who represents MG and YA, as well as women’s fiction, memoir, commercial fiction, romance, and nonfiction.

“I am looking for diverse voices that don’t solely deal with minorities feeling uncomfortable in their skin or accepting their identity, etc., but showcases them more complexly/fully. I would love to find a great MG superhero book, epic YA fantasy, or beautiful women’s fiction. Growing up, I always wanted to find representations of my race/minorities in general that showed them simply as people, rather than over-hyping the fact that they were the ‘others.’”

@literarycarrie
literarycarrie.blogspot.com
prospectagency.com

That’s it for the agent blurbs, but remember – these 30 agents aren’t the only ones participating! Make sure you’re following @Beth_Phelan for all #DVpit news, and good look to everyone entering!

#DVpit SPOTLIGHT SERIES #4: April 7, 2016

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Welcome to Day 4 of meeting the #DVpit agents!

Ayesha

Ayesha of Ayesha Pande Literary is a veteran of the publishing industry with over twenty years of experience under her belt. Before starting her own boutique agency based in Harlem, she worked for Harper Collins and Crown Publishers. Ayesha is actively seeking all types of YA, but especially science fiction and fantasy, as well as women’s fiction, multicultural fiction, and any character-driven stories led by a diverse cast of characters. She is especially passionate about boosting new voices and ensuring they thrive.

“I will always encourage and support stories written by and featuring minorities and people of color; in my mind, the lack of these and other voices results in a much less vibrant, intelligent, and worldly publishing industry. If stories are written to move their readers, inclusivity is the key to making sure no reader feels forgotten.”

@agent_ayesha
@pandeliterary (Instagram)
Ayesha Pande Literary on Facebook
www.pandeliterary.com

Gemma

Gemma Cooper has been a literary agent with the Bent Agency since 2012. She represents authors who write for children, from picture books to young adult, fiction and non-fiction.

“I would love more diverse authors and author/illustrators across my list, but particularly on the younger end—bilingual picture books, a diverse IVY AND BEAN or MG epic adventure. For YA, I want something like the Estelle song “1980”—a fantastic voice telling a story with a strong sense of place. I’m also open to historical novels from a perspective we don’t usually hear from. Ultimately, I want to read authentic voices and be swept away on a journey with that voice.”

@gemma_cooper
www.thebentagency.com

Thao

Thao Le is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Thao represents Young Adult, Middle Grade, Picture Books illustrated by the author, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Romance.

“I’m most excited to find more contemporary YA featuring diverse characters of all ethnicities, sexual orientation, able bodied or not. I am also looking for more romance in both YA and Adult featuring interracial couples. And I love seeing sci-fi/fantasy that is inspired by non-Western cultures and mythologies. I’m particularly interested in representing more diverse creators.”

@thaole8
agentthao.tumblr.com
dijkstraagency.com

Heather

Heather Flaherty grew up in Massachusetts, and worked as a playwright in NYC. She then became a Literary Scout, consulting with foreign publishers and Hollywood to find the next big book. As an agent, she’s thrilled to grow authors for that same success. Heather represents Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as select Adult fiction and non-fiction.

“I’m always on the lookout for diverse stories, diverse characters, and diverse authors, where diversity has a range from POC experiences to disability to gender equality to LGBTQA stories to… you get the idea.

But, specifically, I’d love a story about a teen navigating their asexuality in high school. I’d also love some stories inspired by historic females pushing the boundaries of their expected roles, like female pirates Grace O’Malley, Sayyida al Hurra, and Chang Shih. Or female samurai warriors like Tomoe Gozen and Nakano Takeko. But also about females in our time, pushing through male-dominated subjects and sports in school and life. Also, I’d love stories, both contemporary and fantastical, about Native peoples and from Native voices, incorporating both present and/or past experience, history, culture, beliefs, and non-beliefs. Would also love contemporary Latinx stories focusing on experience, culture, and perspective within their community.

Remember though, these are simple examples, not a criteria—my utmost desire is to be moved by your story… whatever that story might be!”

@HeddaFlaherty
www.thebentagency.com

SvB Stefanie Von Borstel is a literary agent and founder of Full Circle Literary, originally from San Antonio where she grew up in a proud Texan Mexican family. With more than 20 years of publishing experience, she has a long track record of successfully launching new voices such as clients Monica Brown, Diana López, Rene Colato Lainez, Carmen Tafolla among many others.

“I’d love to see fiction submissions with diverse characters taking center stage, especially Latino or mixed-race characters. As the mom of a son with a foreign-born parent, I am actively looking for picture books, middle grade and teen books with a global perspective that share heritage and culture with heart and humor. I also welcome nonfiction or narrative nonfiction that both informs and inspires!”

@FullCircleLit
www.fullcircleliterary.com

Laura

Laura Zats is an Associate Literary Agent with Red Sofa Literary. A former editor, Laura represents Middle Grade, YA, romance, erotica, and adult science fiction and fantasy.

“I am looking for all manner of diversity, including religion, ability, and socio-economic class. Please note that I am not accepting books (especially YA) whose plot is centered only around being marginalized (in other words, no issues-disguised-as-people). I have a particular interest in feminist and intersectional works.”

@LZats
www.redsofaliterary.com

ign: center;”>That’s it for day 4! Tune in tomorrow at noon EST for the final six blurbs!

#DVpit SPOTLIGHT SERIES #3: April 6, 2016

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Welcome to day 3 of Meet the Agents of #DVpit! 

Jenny

Jenny Bent is the founder of the Bent Agency. She primarily reps adult and YA fiction.

“While I am open to any genre of adult or YA fiction, I would especially love to see a wonderful thriller or suspense novel with diverse characters or anything with a touch of the supernatural that takes me into a world I haven’t seen before.”

@jennybent
thebentagency.com

Linda

Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015 after a decade in publishing, having done stints at Writers House, Penguin, and Random House before making the move. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Follow her on Twitter: @LindaRandom

“I’m seeking stories where marginalized characters aren’t just the sidekicks, but the stars. I’m open to all types, particularly along the lines of race, sexuality, or disability. My focus is on MG, YA, and adult commercial fiction across all genres (especially fantasy, contemporary, and women’s fiction/romance) and select literary fiction.”

prospectagency.com

SLP

Sarah LaPolla joined Bradford Literary Agency in 2013. She had previously worked in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown, Ltd., and became an associate agent there in 2010. Sarah received her MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School in 2008, and has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ithaca College.

“When I think of diversity, I think of stories that don’t often get told and perspectives that don’t usually get shown. Send me something that challenges me and surprises me while giving me a character to root for, no matter what themes your story portray. I represent MG, YA, and Adult fiction in the following genres: literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, literary horror, and upmarket contemporary fiction. I seek stories that evoke strong connections, reflect larger themes in a subtle way, and offer a wide range of emotions (not just the dark ones, but the happier ones too!).

I do not represent nonfiction, picture books, high fantasy, inspirational/spiritual novels, romance, or erotica.”

@sarahlapolla
Blog
Bradfordlit.com

Molly

Molly Ker Hawn, the Bent Agency. She was raised in the U.S. and has spent much of her adult life in England, and she represents authors based in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

“I’m looking for more-literary-than-commercial YA and MG that features underrepresented voices and/or diverse characters; I’m especially interested in deeply authentic settings with a strong sense of place and creative narrative structures, and I’m always drawn to stories about ‘third culture’ characters, as well as those about immigrant and minority-indigenous cultures.”

@mollykh
thebentagency.com

Podos

Rebecca Podos is the MG and YA agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston. She is a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing program at Emerson College, and author of the YA novel THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES.

“I’m interested in MG and YA featuring marginalized voices and cultures within genre fiction—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, etc. I love books in which identity is a big part of the story, but needn’t carry the whole story. I love any kind of magic realism. I’m also especially passionate about LGBTQIA+ representation, and would love to see MG and YA featuring multiple characters across the spectrum of gender and sexuality.”

@RebeccaPodos
www.rebeccapodos.com
reesagency.com

Cate

Cate Hart is a Junior Agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency, where she first started as an intern almost 3 years ago. She represents Adult Romance, Young Adult and Middle Grade authors, and is looking for historical, fantasy, mystery and narrative nonfiction.

“I am most excited to find First Nation/Indigenous American voices from Middle Grade to Adult, contemporary to fantasy. I would also love to find more stories featuring Korean and Vietnamese voices, especially featuring folk tales or fantasy elements. I love Korean Dramas, and this might be too specific, but I would love to find lush historicals like the Empress Ki or YA like Heirs or Boys Before Flowers from authentic voices.”

@CateHart
www.corvisiero.com

That’s it for today; tune in tomorrow at noon for deets on the next six agents!

#DVpit SPOTLIGHT SERIES #2: April 5, 2016

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Welcome to day 2 of the #DVpit spotlights on participating agents!

Adriana

Adriana Dominguez is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary and former Executive Editor at HarperCollins’ Rayo imprint with a long trajectory of helping diverse authors and illustrators get published. Her books have been awarded the Pura Belpré Medal and the Coretta Scott King Honor, and been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the NAACP Award, among others.

“I have been a passionate advocate for diversity in all of its forms for a very long time, and am always looking at the types of books by diverse authors that are being published. In my mind, there is not enough diversity in virtually every category, but the ones that I find myself most drawn to are both fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade novels, and (literary) young adult novels. I know that there is a very strong need for diverse illustrators, and have been growing my list of those with a particular emphasis on diverse artists. I’d love to find more humorous diverse material to lift a bit of the burden that the “diverse” label can sometimes place on writers and readers, and because all kids like to laugh!”

@VocesBlog 
www.fullcircleliterary.com

Louise

Louise Fury at the Bent Agency. A native South African, she lives in NYC, but travels to Cape Town every year to meet with writers and publishers.

“I am looking for all kinds of diverse stories, especially character-driven YA or MG. I love unusual formats, unique timelines and unpredictable endings.

My maiden name is De Faria—my father was Portuguese and struggled with English and I never understood a word my paternal grandparents said. So I’m very interested in reading about characters who have out-of-place immigrant parent/s and the experience of being caught between two very different worlds.”

@louisefury
www.thebentagency.com

Linda

Linda Epstein is an Agent at Emerald City Literary Agency. Prior to that she was at Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency for 4 1/2 years. Linda represents picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She speaks at writing conferences throughout North America and you can find her on the Internet at her agency website EmeraldCityLiterary.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @LindaEpstein, and talking about writing and publishing on her blog theblabbermouthblog.com.

“I’ve always been interested in representing all kinds of voices and I’m lucky to currently represent some fantastic GLBTQ authors. I’m very interested in seeing more stories featuring people of color and written by people of color. They don’t have to be about diversity; I just want great stories that draw me in so much that I forget I’m reading.”

Penny

Penny Moore of FinePrint Literary Management represents middle grade and young adult fiction. She’s particularly interested in inventive works with beautiful writing and memorable voices.

“I’m currently looking for own voices projects in children’s literature. I’d love to discover the next Jenny Han, a writer of color who writes about diverse characters that appeal to the inner romantic in all of us. I’m also looking for great multi-cultural MG projects in which the culture is an organic part of the story but not the “issue,” meaning I want young minority readers to be able to see themselves in the stories the way a non-minority would. Finally, I am dying for a spectacular LGBTQ project in the vein of More Happy Than Not.”

fineprintlit.com
literarypenny.com
@precociouspenny

Brooks

Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency works with picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels, and with select commercial, speculative, and fantasy fiction. Prior to starting his career in publishing, he worked in theater and television, and spent two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa.

“I am seeking stories that middle grade and young adult readers can relate to, rather than ones they can escape into. I love fully fleshed-out, “perfectly imperfect” characters in books that touch on issues, rather than “issue books.” I’m particularly drawn to tales dealing with a character’s crush or first love, cross-ethnic/cultural relations, and prejudices (whether others’ or their own).”

@byobrooks
brookssherman.com

Emily

Emily S. Keyes is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. She works with young adult, middle grade, science fiction and women’s fiction.

“I started more actively seeking non-western stories after seeing King Arthur retellings too many times. I love stories that haven’t been told already, or are being told from a new perspective. During DVPit, I am particularly looking for things by non-white authors, or about people with disabilities.”

esckeyes.tumblr.com
@esc_key
www.fuseliterary.com

#DVpit SPOTLIGHT SERIES #1: April 4, 2016

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I’m honored to be helping out with #DVpit, a pitch contest specifically for diverse books created by literary agent Beth Phelan, by featuring the participating agents and their wishlists on my blog all this week! (For more information on #DVpit, click here.) And now, let’s get to the agents, beginning with Beth herself!

Beth

Beth Phelan (host and creator of #DVpit) is a literary agent at the Bent Agency, where she represents authors of YA and MG fiction, adult contemporary romance, adult suspense/thrillers, and cookbooks.

“I’m looking for many things and expect I’ll ❤ a lot of different pitches! But more specifically, I’m really hoping to find more Jewish and Muslim narratives in YA and MG fiction that demonstrate the diversity within those very groups. I’d love a sweeping literary novel or a laugh-out-loud contemporary. Also a big, splashy YA fantasy. I want it all! And especially considering my own experiences with these, I’d be thrilled to find any story with an author/lead that has trichotillomania and/or excoriation disorder.”

@beth_phelan
www.bethphelan.com
www.thebentagency.com

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Mary C. Moore (@Mary_C_Moore) is with Kimberley Cameron & Associates based in the Bay Area, California—visit her at kimberleycameron.com and marycmoore.com.

“I am particularly interested in finding raw and beautifully written Latino or Native Magical Realism or upmarket fiction in any genre that highlights Native erasure, especially in regards to cultural history (food, myths, sexuality, feminism etc.). If I could pick and choose, I feel that California Native voices are not as known in the literary world as compared to Navajo, Sioux, or Lakota (or Incan, Aztec, Mayan). However, I am interested in all voices from the Americas. I am white, so in these particular stories, I am looking for Native authors, to ensure authenticity of narrative and prevent accidental racism/further erasure.

I am also always on the look out for high fantasy with black female protagonists. Princesses or queens on the run, fighting the establishment, will really grab me.”

Jim

Jim McCarthy is a Vice-President and Literary Agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management where he focuses primarily on YA and adult fiction but is also seeking middle grade, children’s nonfiction, and limited adult narrative nonfiction.

“As far as #DVPit, I’m open to all voices but would be especially keen on sci-fi/fantasy or historical novels with non-Western locales and protagonists of color, romance with diverse protagonists, any author who can make me laugh out loud or quietly weep while reading on my commute, and queer narratives of any kind.”

@JimMcCarthy528
www.dystel.com

Caitie

Caitie Flum joined Liza Dawson Associates in July 2014. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2009 with a BA in English with a concentration in publishing studies. She was an Editorial Assistant then Coordinator for Bookspan, where she worked on several clubs including the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club.

“I am looking for all marginalized stories and voices, but will be particularly looking for more disability representation in all genres and age groups middle grade through adult. Would really love to see these stories with POC and LGBTQIA characters.”

@caitief 
lizadawsonassociates.com

Kirsten

Kirsten Carleton is a literary agent at Prospect Agency seeking upmarket YA and adult fiction across speculative, thriller, and literary genres.

“I’m looking for all kinds of representation, definitely in terms of racial diversity, but also diversity of sexuality, gender and gender identification, class, and disability. I’m especially interested in stories that feature more than one minority character in a way that shows the diversity of characterization within that minority, rather than having a single minority character as a de facto representative of their entire demographic. A noncomprehensive wishlist: multiracial protagonists; Chinese mythology-inspired fantasy; teen homelessness; characters coping with mental illness and/or chronic disability; trans and genderfluid teens; second generation immigrant stories that focus on culture clashes between generations; stories set outside the US/Europe (particularly Taiwan) that feature local characters rather than American/European visitors; historical fiction based on badass women like Pancho Barnes, Ada Lovelace, and Ching Shih.”

@kirstencarleton
www.prospectagency.com

Rachel

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel Brooks worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

“I’d love a LGBTQ YA novel that is light in tone and/or funny with a happy ending, especially with an L or B protagonist, where how he/she identifies is a layer to the story versus the hook.

I’d like to find a contemporary YA where the MC has a stepparent/sibling(s) of a different race and culture, creating a blended family on multiple levels (also predominantly light or funny).

I’m also on the lookout for sexy adult romances with alpha heroes and witty heroines by authors from marginalized communities.”

@RachMBrooks
www.rachelmbrooks.com
www.lperkinsagency.com

That’s it for today – tune in tomorrow at noon EST for the next five!

Dahlia’s Book Club: April 2016

Welcome to Dahlia’s book club, wherein I rec four books in each of five categories every month and hope that you read them. If you do, and you leave a link to a review for at least one of them in the comments, you’ll be entered to win one of three prizes every month – one entry per book. If you read and review* one in each and every category, you automatically win. The last weekday of the month is your last day to submit a review, and the length of the review does not matter, but it must be posted to Goodreads and Amazon or BN.com to be eligible for a prize. Simple enough, right?

If a title’s in blue, it means I haven’t read it yet either – let’s do it together, shall we?

*To enter to win a prize, your review must be new. To be eligible for the Five Reviews Insta-prize, up to two of your reviews can be old, as long as they’re on Amazon.

If you’re loving something you’re reading from the list, please share on hashtag #DahlBC!

YA Published Before This Year

*Reviews of either of the other books in the trilogy count as well

YA Published This Year

Out This Month+

+Anything in this category is still due by end of month for that month’s prize, but these books will continue to make you eligible for an entry for the next month. If you reviewed one of March’s books in this category, link in the comments to be eligible to win this month!

2016 Debut

Non-YA

As for the prizes:

  1. A signed hardcover of Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash*
  2. A signed paperback of The Island by S. Usher Evans*
  3. A signed hardcover of When We Collided by Emery Lord*
  4. eBooks of Last Will and Testament and Right of First Refusal by me
  5. eBooks of Luck on the Line, Love on the Ledge, and Life on the Level by Zoraida Cordova
  6. A preorder of Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

*US only

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough

I only saw this Top Ten Tuesday topic (courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish) once actual posts started popping up on my Twitter feed at midnight, but since it’s a topic I love so much, I’m gonna quickly jump in, despite a sad lack of graphics:

37 Things I Love (In No Particular Order) by Kekla Magoon – grieving, dealing with old relationships, being open to the unexpected when it’s what makes you happy in tough times…this is one of the few f/f books I don’t talk about enough because it’s really not about sexuality and it pretty adamantly doesn’t deal with identity, which I know isn’t everyone’s jam (and also, admittedly, because it has kind of an unfinished feel to me, which is a personal pet peeve in books; what I really want is the sequel to this), but it’s such a valid and real and true human experience.

For Real by Alison Cherry – I love travel books, I love sister books, and I love books with the kind of pacing that makes you never want to put them down. This book was all three, and so much fun while also being really touching.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – This is one I used to talk about a lot, and I think I just trailed off because I read it such a long time ago, but it’s one of my favorite YA fantasies. If killer voice and really fun casts and edge and humor and some queerness are your things like they are mine, make sure you pick this one up in time for the sequel, The Shadow Hour.

Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott – The books I flail about a lot are usually the ones I confidently know to recommend, but this one, which I really loved, trips me up on that front. You definitely need to be okay reading teacher-student relationship books, but you need to want them to be more about the main character’s personal evolution, and that’s kind of a tricky spot? But I absolutely loved the humor in this, loved where the main character ended up at the end, and loved the raw honesty.

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis – This is one I actually have yelled about quite a bit, but only very recently, as I was a super late reader. This one has pretty much everything love, especially in Gay YA – tons of chemistry and humor and heart, and also a lot of grappling with one’s own self, in this case in the context of reconciling homosexuality and religion, which I haven’t seen very much in YA at all. Highly, highly rec, especially if you loved Simon.

Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo – Another one I used to be really good about shouting about but kinda lost steam on for no reason other than there are SO MANY BOOKS OUT THERE. But honestly, this one is seriously special, in my opinion, as is Longo’s debut, Six Feet Over It. I think she writes beautifully, and she’s a master of setting choice and intertwining it with character development.

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – this is a killer political thriller, and I guess because she’s a pretty big name in thrillers, I haven’t really mentioned this one as often as I should have because I tend to focus on titles/authors I think need more of a boost? But maaaan, this one was so good and constantly had me guessing wrong. So excited to read the sequel, which is glaring at me from my “immediate TBR” bookcase…

The F- It List by Julie Halpern – I never remember to rec this one enough, and I loved it. The voice! The friendship! The sexual ownership! The way Halpern dealt with cancer! Just…everything. This is the epitome of a Dahlia book.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff – I, admittedly, do not read a lot of male authors, but Brezenoff writes such interesting stuff, and this is my so-far-favorite. I love his approach to gaming here and using it to examine both gender identity and empathy, and though I’ve never been a big gamer, it’s so much fun to be drawn back into the little bit of experience I have.

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander – I have to admit that when I read this book, I would’ve thought I was burned out on cancer-centric love stories from all the Fault in Our Stars hubbub, but this book is actually more what I wish TFIOS would’ve been, I think? It’s so sweet and funny, and a little nerdy, and totally heartbreaking.

Release Day for Right of First Refusal is Here!

Woooooo!!! Today is the release day for my new New Adult novel, Right of First Refusal, the second book in the Radleigh University series! In case you’re not familiar with said novel, here’s the cover and blurb again:

imageOn the lacrosse field, Cait Johanssen gets what she wants. Off the field is another story. Because what she wants is the school’s hot new basketball student-coach, Lawrence Mason, who also happens to be the guy who broke her heart in sports camp two years earlier.

But it’s Cait’s new roommate who’s got him.

Cait and Mase agree it’s best to keep their past a secret, but she doesn’t expect him to completely ignore their history…or how much it’ll hurt when he does. So when a friend on the basketball team asks her to pose as his girlfriend for a night, Cait can’t turn down the opportunity for distraction. (Okay, and a little spite.) But what starts as an evening of fun turns into a fake relationship with more lies than the usually drama-free Cait can handle, and it’s only keeping her from the one truth that’s nagged at her for years: Why did Mase cut her out of his life to begin with?

And is it really too late to get him back?

~And oh, look, now you can buy it at these fine retailers!~

 Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | iBooks

Dahlia’s Book Club: March 2016

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Welcome to Dahlia’s book club, wherein I rec four books in each of five categories every month and hope that you read them. If you do, and you leave a link to a review for at least one of them in the comments, you’ll be entered to win one of the listed prizes every month – one entry per book. If you read and review one in each and every category, you automatically win. The last weekday of the month is your last day to submit a review, and the length of the review does not matter, but it must be posted to Goodreads and Amazon or BN.com to be eligible for a prize. Simple enough, right?

If a title’s in blue, it means I haven’t read it yet either – let’s do it together, shall we?

*To enter to win a prize, your review must be new. To be eligible for the Five Reviews Insta-prize, up to two of your reviews can be old, as long as they’re on Amazon.

If you’re loving something you’re reading from the list, please share on hashtag #DahlBC!

YA Published Before This Year

YA Published This Year

Out This Month+

*Sequel to The Conspiracy of Us. Reading/reviewing that will count as well. Both = two entries.

+Anything in this category is still due by end of month for that month’s prize, but these books will continue to make you eligible for an entry for the next month. If you reviewed one of February’s books in this category, link in the comments to be eligible to win this month!

2016 Debut

Non-YA

*If you’ve already read and reviewed this one, any Elizabeth Briggs title you haven’t yet will do.

As for the prizes:

  1. A signed ARC of Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen*
  2. A hardcover of The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchock*
  3. A hardcover of This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp*
  4. A signed paperback of Right of First Refusal by Dahlia Adler (me)* or an ebook of it, if you’re outside the US
  5. An ebook of Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassel

*Prizes are US-only. If you are outside the US, your prize is a March DahlBC book of your choice, available via The Book Depository or electronically

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