character isn't hollywood beautiful

Character isn’t “Hollywood beautiful” (Sapphic Reading Challenge #47)

This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books with a main character who isn’t Hollywood beautiful–they don’t fit the beauty standards that Hollywood imposes on women, where only characters who are thin, toned, young, and have perfect hair are portrayed as beautiful. 

For this reading list, I’ve picked books with protagonists who don’t fit those standards. They might have love handles, like Denny, the main character in Wrong Number, Right Woman, or consider their nose to big, yet they will always be beautiful in the eyes of their love interest.

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sapphic books trans character

Sapphic books with a trans character (Book Unicorn #11)

For this month’s Book Unicorn category, read a book with a main character who’s a sapphic trans woman.

Generally, the term “trans” (short for “transgender”) can be used in two different ways:

Trans or transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of gender identities. It includes everyone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Many nonbinary people consider themselves trans since they don’t (exclusively) identify as male or female.

Trans or transgender can also be used for a more specific identity under that umbrella. Trans women are women who were assigned male at birth. They may or may not have surgery and/or take hormones to bring their bodies into alignment with their gender identity.

Since books about nonbinary characters were already covered in an earlier post, pick a book with a protagonist who fits the latter definition of trans for this category of the Sapphic Reading Challenge: a book featuring a trans woman. 

While there are many books with trans supporting characters such as my novel Wrong Number, Right Woman, make sure you choose a book in which the trans character is the main character. Ideally, pick a book written by a trans woman.

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author of lesbian books

New-to-you author of WLW & lesbian books (Sapphic Reading Challenge #45)

It’s time for another special category of the Sapphic Reading Challenge. For this one, I’d like you to read a novel by an author who’s completely new to you. You might have come across their name several times or seen their books recommended, but it has to be an author from whom you’ve never read anything before.
Here are some tips on where to discover a new-to-you author!

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sapphic book series

Sapphic book that is part of a series (Sapphic Reading Challenge #43)

For this week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge, pick a sapphic book that is part of a series. 

It doesn’t have to be book 1; it can be a book later in the series. 

Some series have the same main characters in each book, while others are more loosely connected and feature a different protagonist in every book.

Most series will have the same author, but there are a few series that are a collaboration of different authors, e.g., Ylva Publishing’s Superheroine Collection or The Village Romance Series by T.B. Markinson, Clare Lydon & Harper Bliss. 

Some books aren’t even marketed as a series, even though they clearly are, e.g., my novels Just for Show and The Roommate Arrangement. When in doubt, contact the author and ask if the books are considered a series or not. 

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A Place to Call Home Reading Companion

Sapphic historical romance “A Place to Call Home” – Reading Companion

Starting today, my brand-new short story “A Place to Call Home” is available everywhere, including Amazon worldwide and Ylva!

It’s part of the Oregon series and picks up right after the end of my sapphic historical romance Backwards to Oregon, which is my most popular novel. Luke and Nora have survived the dangers along the Oregon Trail, but now they have to find a new home and grow as a couple.

At 13,000 words, it’s considered a novelette (longer than a short story, but shorter than a novella).

Since the reading companion for my novel Chemistry Lessons was so popular with readers, I put together one for “A Place to Call Home” too. I hope you enjoy looking at some pictures and videos while you read so you can imagine the setting and what Luke and Nora are doing as they build their home.

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Books set in a country you don't live in

Books set in a country you don’t live in (Sapphic Reading Challenge #42)

This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books set in a country you don’t live in.

One of the great things about books is that they allow you to “visit” new places, even during a time when you might not be able to travel. For this category, choose a sapphic book that takes place in a country that you don’t currently live in. Depending on where you live, that could mean a book set in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, etc. Maybe pick a book set in a place that you’d like to visit or one that takes place in a country you don’t know much about. 

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Sapphic book mistaken identity

Mistaken identity in a sapphic book (Sapphic Reading Challenge #41)

This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books with a mistaken identity theme.

A character is mistaken for someone else for at least a part of the book. Usually, it’s misunderstanding (or at least it starts out that way), rather than one character intentionally lying or disguising herself. The misunderstanding can be cleared up quickly or the other character can play along and start pretending to be someone she isn’t, but the situation didn’t start out as an intentional disguise.

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