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10 Diverse Love Stories for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are 10 stories about love, starring people of color and/or LGBT characters. Book descriptions are from Worldcat.

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander (HarperCollins)— When a popular football ‘playa’ and ladies man and the smartest girl in school lead a school protest, sparks fly as their social media-aided revolution grows.

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Simon & Schuster) — In a world where the pale-skinned Naughts are discriminated against by the politically and socially powerful dark-skinned Crosses, teenagers Callum—a Naught—and Sephy—a Cross—test whether their love is strong enough to survive their society’s racism.

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin (Bloomsbury) — Phyre, sixteen, narrates her life as if it were a film, capturing her crush on Mia, a student teacher of theater and film studies, as well as her fast friendship with a classmate referred to only as “you.”

Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper (Atheneum) — Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanic boy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love on the Internet, but are harrassed by a gang whose members object to their interracial dating.

When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer (Thomas Dunne Books) — Soledad Reyes decides to dance Carmen as part of a drum and bugle corps competition, not knowing if it will help or harm her chance of becoming a professional ballet dancer but eager to pursue new options, including a romance with the boy who invited her to audition.

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier (Scholastic Press) — Seventeen-year-old Dimple, whose family is from India, discovers that she is not Indian enough for the Indians and not American enough for the Americans, as she sees her hypnotically beautiful, manipulative best friend taking possession of both her heritage and the boy she likes.

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (Dial) — Three teenagers in Boston narrate their experiences of a year of new friendships, first loves, and coming into their own.

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad) — This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Mismatch by Lensey Namioka (Delacorte) — Their families clash when a Japanese-American teenaged boy starts dating a Chinese-American teenaged girl.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse) — Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. But as Jude begins to fall for Emilio Vargas, she begins to wonder if her sisters were wrong.

Now Available for Pre-Order: Summer Love, A Collection of LGBTQ Young Adult Stories

Now available for pre-order from the IP Web Store, Summer Love is a collection of short stories about the discovery of both romantic and platonic love by young LGBTQ characters.

Nine stories from debut authors make up this collection of stories where love serves as a catalyst for an awakening to new ideas, new possibilities and new confidence. 

The stories in the Summer Love collection feature characters from across the LGBTGQ spectrum. They are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual, queer/questioning and pansexual. 

Included in the collection are:

Beautiful Monsters (Rachel Davidson Leigh): A campaign volunteer is assigned to assist his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance for the Pride Parade, forcing him to face the students he had previously avoided, and the truth about himself.

The Willow Weeps for Us (Suzey Ingold): At the dawn of World War II, Jack, the young son of a grocer, falls for a charming piano teacher.

The Fire Eater’s Daughter (Amy Stilgenbauer): When a traveling carnival comes back to town, Ruth must choose between caring for her mother and a life with the beautiful and mysterious Constance, the fire eater’s daughter.

Surface Tension: (Ella J. Ash): Logan just wants a summer where he can be anonymous and fit in without labels, but that all changes when he meets out-and-proud Dave at summer camp.

My Best Friend (H.J. Coulter): In a letter to his best friend, a young gay man reminisces about their relationship.

What the Heart Wants (Naomi Tajedler): A young student discovers attraction and desire through her experience drawing figures in a summer art class.

The Most Handsome (S.J. Martin) Carter, a Cape Cod boy who recently came out as transgender, meets and falls in love with a college student visiting for the summer.

Something Like Freedom (Caroline Hanlin): After he is kicked out of his family home, Gabe experiences freedom for the first time in his life, thanks in part to a new friend.

On the Shore (Rachel Blackburn): Poppy retreats to her parents’ beach house to nurse a broken heart, but instead meets the vivacious Eva, who helps her find joy again.

* * *

Publication Date: June 23, 2015
US/Canada: Pre-order the  print edition of Summer Love from the IP Web Store and receive the multi-format eBook free!
International: Order the print edition of Summer Love by August 23, 2015 from your favorite book retailer and receive free multi-format eBook by submitting a copy of your receipt to promotions@interludepress.com.
ISBN: 978-1-941530-36-8
Pages: 276
Price: $15.99 US print*/ $7.99 US multi-format eBook
*Print editions pre-orders available for US and Canada only. eBook orders available worldwide.

Love isn’t what you expect it to be. You imagine being drunk on happiness, but the truth is, you worry all the time. Is she ill? Hurt? Might she meet someone else? There’s a moment when you realize that you’ve gotten everything you wished for. And right on its heels is the understanding that this means you have so much more to lose.
—  Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, Off the Page
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“Just One,” an original song written and recorded for my little YA romance, Touch!!!

I’m spellbound. Thank you to my immortal friend, Nicole. And to my guy, Roman, for this lovely tune.

Music and awesomeness by: Pawing at the Ceiling

We can’t stop swooning over the gorgeous finished copies of LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS by Kim Karalius. Pre-order your copy of this adorable YA romance now before it hits shelves on 5/12!