The Pond Book News #103 – Love is Love is Love: New & Upcoming Queer Romance Across History For All Ages

Welcome to Issue #103!

Sprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy.

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcome to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases this Week [September 26th – October 2nd]

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand—and the consequences are dire.

As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century—but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon—each keeping their true motives secret from the other—form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.ore girls from being sacrificed.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

Steelstriker by Marie Lu

As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.

But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.

With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter.

Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red’s only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.

While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

For All Time by Shanna Miles

Tamar is a headstrong slave in Mali, a high school junior with a terminal illness on a last-chance trip, a young woman struggling for independence in a segregated train car steaming her toward an arranged marriage. She is a musician, a warrior, a survivor.

Fayard is a soldier that must obey all the rules set before him, a charming high school senior who wishes to give his high school sweetheart a promise ring, a lost young man who runs numbers for King Fats in Chicago. He is a con man, a pioneer, a hopeless romantic.

Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world go through revolutions and civil wars, and have even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: Tamar and Fayard fall in love. Tamar and Fayard fight to be with each other. Tamar and Fayard die. Over and over again until, perhaps at last, they learn what it will take to break the cycle.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Cursed Carnivals and Other Calamities, by authors from Rick Riordan Presents

A cave monster… an abandoned demon… a ghost who wants to erase history… a killer commandant… These are just some of the challenges confronting the young heroes in this highly entertaining anthology.

All but one of the heroes previously starred in a popular book from Rick Riordan Presents. You”ll be reunited with Aru Shah, Zane Obispo, Min the fox spirit, Sal and Gabi, Tristan Strong, Nizhoni Begay, Paola Santiago, Sikander Aziz, and Riley Oh. Who is the new hero? Read Rick Riordan”s short story to find out!

Ten bestselling and award-winning middle grade authors contributed to this collection: Roshani Chokshi, J.C. Cervantes, Yoon Ha Lee, Carlos Hernandez, Kwame Mbalia, Rebecca Roanhorse, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Sarwat Chadda, Graci Kim, and Rick Riordan, who also served as the editor.

The cultures represented by these own-voices stories are: Indian, Mesoamerican, Korean, Cuban, Black American, African, Navajo, Mexican, Mesopotamian, and Celtic.

There”s something for everyone in this collection of fast-paced and funny adventure stories that show what it takes to be a hero in any time, setting, and universe.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Hungry Ghosts by Miguel Flores

Witches have been banned from Arrett for years. Which is why Milly has tried to ignore the tingling light that appears in her palm anytime she conjures up a wish. She has too many responsibilities as the oldest girl at St. George’s Orphanage to get caught up in magicks.

Sweet, quirky Cilla, though, has always longed for that power, even if it could be dangerous for her. Milly has always kept an eye out for her, but then, in a case of mistaken identity, Cilla is kidnapped by an angry, exiled witch who believes she’s the one with magicks–not Milly.

Desperate to bring Cilla back to St. George’s, Milly sets out to find her with a sarcastic young Wind stuck in the form of a cat as her companion. Along the way, they meet an independent young broomstick and gentle giant–and a whole world Milly has never seen before. As she searches high and low for Cilla, one thing becomes clear: she’ll have to face the stirrings of forbidden magicks inside herself in order to rescue a friend who has become more like a sister.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham

Growing up in a village in the middle of the desert, Ash thinks his future holds nothing but sand, sun, a few annoying bullies, and lots of boring chores. Boy, is he wrong!

On the night before his twelfth birthday, Ash learns that he was born on the same day as Prince Khufu, which makes him eligible to compete to be the prince’s shadow, a coveted position as the friend and bodyguard of the boy destined to be pharaoh of all of Egypt. At first, Ash can’t believe it, but when a floating royal barge takes Ash and his mentor to the bustling, magical, solar-powered capital, things get real.

What awaits Ash and the candidates is deadly–five days of dangerous tests filled with demon fighting, monster slaying, and magical spells–each overseen by a different Egyptian god. Ash finds two friends willing to fight by his side–the first friends he’s ever made. But there are candidates who will lie, cheat, and even harm others to win. Not all will survive, and only one can become the prince’s shadow.

To make matters worse, Ash is up against Lord Set, the devious god of chaos, who is secretly working to make the candidates fail. But if they do, the very survival of the kingdom is in peril. Can Ash and his new friends save Egypt? And will any of them survive to become the shadow prince?

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

UK Cover Reveal: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Illustration: Jason Chuang | Design: Ellie Game | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho

Illustration: Xiao Tong | Design: Marci Senders | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: A Venom Dark and Sweet by Judy I. Lin

Illustration: Sija Hong | Design: Rich Deas | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan

Illustration: Muhammed Sajid | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See

Illustration: @reendoodles | Design: Yaffa Jaskoll | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

Illustration: Alex Cabal | Design: Kerri Resnick | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: If You Change Your Mind by Robby Weber

Illustration: Andi Porretta | Design: Gigi Lau | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy

Design: Kristin Boyle | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Of Trust and Heart by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

Design: L. J. Anderson (Mayhem Cover Creations) | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow

Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Set on You by Amy Lea

Design: Vikki Chu | Add this book to Goodreads!

Book Announcement: A companion novel to Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, set in 2013 America following the growing legalization of marriage equality

Book Announcement: A queer YA debut by Parisa Akhbari about friendship and poetry

Book Announcement: Olivia A. Cole’s forthcoming middle-grade about wildfires, ever-growing plants, and a town with secrets

Book Announcement: A YA sapphic thriller about murder and magic by Victoria Lee

Book Announcement: An audionovella project by Randy Ribay about an amnesiac teen awakening after suspended animation

Book Announcement: A middle grade graphic novel by Nadia Shammas and Molly Murakami about anime forums, online personas, and self-love as a marginalised kid

Book Announcement: A Chinese American boy tackles family expectations and musical dreams in Jennie Liu’s forthcoming middle-grade contemporary!

Book Announcement: The middle-grade contemporary From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks gets a sequel, featuring the topic of incarceration and a family restaurant

Book Announcement: An SFF anthology from Africa and the African diaspora edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight

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