Guest Post: Queer YA Releases That I’m Most Excited for in 2019! – Julia Ember

Turn On the StarsI haven’t had the pleasure of hosting that many guest posts, but I always enjoy taking the guest’s work and formatting into my standard blog post template. I love promoting other’s work on this blog, especially with diverse topics.

My first guest post I hosted was with one of my favorite authors, Taylor Brooke. And now I’m excited to present another favorite author of mine, Julia Ember, on this blog. Enjoy!

Somehow, it’s already November, friends, which means the book community’s eye is turning to 2019 releases. When Avery suggested this topic, I was delighted to share some books on my radar. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for Queer YA Books, especially SFF. When I was looking at books for this list, I found over 100 queer YA releases slated for next year. That’s huge! I’m really encouraged by the number of big publishers taking up the mantle and starting to value queer books as both important, AND commercially viable.

Without further ado, here are my Top 5!

1) Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Shatter the SkyGoodreads:
Release Date: July 30 2019

I met Rebecca at Sirens Con in 2017. Shatter the Sky had not yet sold, but when she introduced herself and described her on-sub book as “an angry bisexual girl who steals and raises a dragon in order to free her girlfriend from a tyrant Emperor” … I was immediately on board and was crossing my fingers for this to sell! Thankfully for ALL OF US, Simon and Schuster acquired the book and we will all get to experience angry queer girls saving the day and taming dragons. I’ve always had a soft spot for fantasy animal-training books, and I couldn’t be more excited for this!

2) These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don't Burn

Release Date: May 28 2019

At the time of writing, Halloween is tomorrow, and I am living for all the spooky witch books. Here is a gay witch book, and I’ve heard that most of the ensemble cast is also queer. This book promises a splash of historical fiction via its Salem connections, practical magic, and based on the synopsis, an entirely f/f love triangle. I know that many people are over the love triangle trope, but executed well, I love it. And, as with so many tropes, I think marginalized characters deserve a shot at it before we all discount it.

3) Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig 

Death Prefers Blondes

Release Date:  January 29 2019

I have literally watched Ocean’s 8 nine times since it came out. Lately, I have been very into heist stories – both as books, and as films. YA has very few true heist books, so when I stumbled across Caleb Roehrig’s latest on Goodreads, I immediately preordered it. The main characters are described as a “rebel heiress” and her crew as “kickboxing drag queens” … and I’ve never needed something so badly ever.

4) Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst

Of Ice and Shadows (Of Fire and Stars, #2)

Release Date: March 5 2019

I feel like I’ve been waiting for this sequel forever? I read Of Fire and Stars as an ARC in early 2016, so by the time this gets released, I will have waited three years! And it might as well be 84. I really enjoyed Of Fire and Stars and I can’t wait to delve back into this world of soft gay romance and forbidden magic! I read Inkmistress last year, and enjoyed it even more than Of Fire and Stars, so I feel that Audrey is getting better with each book she releases. I have high hopes for this!

5) A Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson

A Place For Wolves

Release Date: April 2 2019

I took three college courses on the history of the former Yugoslavia, and wrote part of my Masters’ thesis on the war in Kosovo. I’ve never read a YA novel that takes place during those events, and I’m excited for Kosoko’s take! Plus, this book has a gay romance at its heart, and the trope of two lovers caught up in the middle of a war is one of my favourites! The synopsis also promises a lot of moral ambiguity from the two main characters, as they wrestle with what they’re willing to do to survive.


Image result for julia ember

Born in Chicago, Julia Ember now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her partner and their city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Sirius Black and Luna Lovegood the cats currently run her life. A world-traveller since childhood, Julia has visited almost seventy countries. Her travels inspire her writing, though she populates her worlds with magic and monsters. She has worked as a teacher, a wedding cake decorator and a bookseller.

Julia began writing at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, with Harmony Ink Press. It also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. She has subsequently published three further works for young adults.
THE NAVIGATOR’S TOUCH is the sequel to THE SEAFARER’S KISS, which was released by Interlude Press in May 2017. It was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval literature at the University of St. Andrews.

Julia Ember is represented by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary.

Connect with the author at, on Twitter @jules_chronicle and on Facebook at

Interested in Julia’s work?

Unicorn Tracks:
The Seafarer’s Kiss:
The Tiger’s Watch:
The Navigator’s Touch:

- Avery (2)

Thanks for stopping by!

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