LEV AC ROSEN writes books for people of all ages, most recently Lavender House. Camp was a best book of the year from Forbes, Elle, and The Today Show, among others, and is a Lambda finalist and ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. He lives in NYC with his husband and a very small cat. You can find him online at LevACRosen.com and @LevACRosen.
Lavender House, 1952: the family seat of recently deceased matriarch Irene Lamontaine, head of the famous Lamontaine soap empire. Irene’s recipes for her signature scents are a well guarded secret - but it's not the only one behind these gates. This estate offers a unique freedom, where none of the residents or staff hide who they are. But to keep their secret, they've needed to keep others out. And now they're worried they're keeping a murderer in.
Irene’s widow hires Evander Mills to uncover the truth behind her mysterious death. Andy, recently fired from the San Francisco police after being caught in a raid on a gay bar, is happy to accept - his calendar is wide open. And his secret is the kind of secret the Lamontaines understand.
Andy had never imagined a world like Lavender House. He's seduced by the safety and freedom found behind its gates, where a queer family lives honestly and openly. But that honesty doesn't extend to everything, and he quickly finds himself a pawn in a family game of old money, subterfuge, and jealousy—and Irene’s death is only the beginning.
When your existence is a crime, everything you do is criminal, and the gates of Lavender House can’t lock out the real world forever. Running a soap empire can be a dirty business.
MARGOT DOUAIHY is a Lebanese American originally from Scranton, PA, now living in Northampton, MA. She received her PhD in creative writing from the University of Lancaster in the UK. She is the author of the poetry collections Bandit/Queen: The Runaway Story of Belle Starr, Scranton Lace, and Girls Like You. She is a founding member of the Creative Writing Studies Organization and an active member of Sisters in Crime and the Radius of Arab American Writers. A recipient of the Mass Cultural Council's Artist Fellowship, she was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, Aesthetica Magazine's Creative Writing Award, and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation's Hemingway Shorts.
Her writing has been featured in Queer Life, Queer Love; Colorado Review; Diode Editions; The Florida Review; North American Review; PBS NewsHour; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Portland Review; Wisconsin Review; and elsewhere. Margot is an Assistant Professor in Popular Fiction Writing & Literature with Emerson College in Boston. As a coeditor of the Elements in Crime Narrative Series with Cambridge University Press, she strives to reshape crime writing scholarship, with a focus on the contemporary, the future, inclusivity, and decoloniality.
When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding New Orleans community are thrust into chaos.
Patience is a virtue, but punk rocker turned nun Sister Holiday isn’t satisfied to just wait around for officials to return her home and sanctuary to its former peace, instead deciding to unveil the mysterious attacker herself. Her investigation leads her down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets, turning her against colleagues, students, and even fellow Sisters along the way. And to piece together the clues of this high-stakes mystery, she must at last reckon with the sins of her own past.
An exciting start to a bold series that breathes new life into the hard-boiled genre, Scorched Grace is a fast-paced and punchy whodunnit that will keep readers guessing until the very end.
TEMBE DENTON-HURST is a staff writer at New York magazine’s The Strategist and has written for Nylon magazine, them, and Elle. When she’s not writing, Tembe can be found on her couch in Queens, New York, where she lives with her partner and their two cats, Stella and Dakota.
Mickey Hayward dreams of writing stories that matter. She has a flashy media job that makes her feel successful and a devoted girlfriend who takes care of her when she comes home exhausted and demoralized. It’s not all A-list media parties and steamy romance, but Mickey’s on her way, and it’s far from the messy life she left behind in Maryland. Despite being overlooked and mistreated at work, everything finally seems to be falling into place—until she finds out she’s being replaced.
Distraught and enraged, Mickey fires back with a detailed letter outlining the racism and sexism she’s endured as a Black woman in media, certain it will change the world for the better. But when her letter is met with overwhelming silence, Mickey is sent into a tailspin of self-doubt. Forced to reckon with just how fragile her life is—including the uncertainty of her relationship—she flees to the last place she ever dreamed she would run to, her hometown, desperate for a break from her troubles.
Back home, Mickey is seduced by the simplicity of her old life—and the flirtation of a former flame—but the life she left behind in New York refuses to be forgotten. When a media scandal catapults Mickey’s forgotten letter into the public zeitgeist, suddenly everyone wants to hear what Mickey has to say. It’s what she’s always wanted—isn’t it?
Insightful, funny, and deeply sexy, Homebodies is a testament to those trying to be heard and loved in a world that refuses to make space, and introduces a standout new writer.
JEFFREY DALE LOFTON hails from Warm Springs, Georgia, best known as the home of Roosevelt’s Little White House. He calls the nation’s capital home now and has for over three decades. During those early years he spent many a night trodding the boards of the DC’s theaters and performing arts centers, including the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and Studio Theatre. He even scored a few television screen appearances, including a residuals-rich Super Bowl halftime commercial, which his accountant wisecracked “is the finest work of your career.”
Fueled by tomato sandwiches and green milkshakes, and obsessed with cars, Philbet struggles with life and love as a gay boy in rural Georgia. He’s happiest when helping Grandaddy dig potatoes from the vegetable garden that connects their houses. But Philbet’s world is shattered and his resilience shaken by events that crush his innocence and sense of security; expose his misshapen chest skillfully hidden behind shirts Mama makes at home; and convince him that he’s not fit to be loved by Knox, the older boy he idolizes to distraction. Over time, Philbet finds refuge in unexpected places and inner strength in unexpected ways, leading to a resolution in the form of a letter from beyond the grave.
TROIX JACKSON is an editorial assistant at Forge Books. She has editorial experience spanning nearly every genre, from sizzling contemporary thrillers to entrancing fantasies and everything in between. If she isn't reading, you can find her scouring plant shops for new additions to her budding home forest or marathoning classic horror movies.
Can't make it to the event? You can still get signed copy of Lavender House, Scorched Grace, Homebodies, and Redy Clay Suzie.