Good Morning Readers! With Disability Awareness month coming to a close, we wanted to a moment to spotlight our authors who've written so many wonderful characters, in contemporary and fantastical settings with disabilities. Characters full of life and strength, who create their own lives and magic on the page. This spotlight features both released and upcoming titles to watch for.
Spotlight on Sword & Silk Titles
A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger
"...there's nothing I can do to change whether or not I have Crohn's. It has nothing to do with how brave I am or how fun I am or if I'm a screw-up or not." -Paige Williams, A Feeling Like Home
Sixteen-year-old Paige Williams can’t stop self-sabotaging.
Not when her dad gets sick, not when her relationship implodes, not even when her parents send her to another-freaking-state for the summer to live with her sister. Paige just wants to have fun, spray paint a few walls, and block out everything stressful, including her growing concern that she might be sick as well. To make things worse, her parents threaten her with boarding school in the fall if she can’t prove she’s changed her bad habits.
Paige’s parents sign her up for a rebuilding project in Texas where her sister lives. Meanwhile, Paige reluctantly befriends her sister’s straight-laced teenage neighbor, Joey, who is a frequent guest. He’s so different from her, but Paige realizes that may not be a bad thing, especially since being around Joey curbs her urge to vandalize and ignore the rules. He even makes her forget about the debilitating stomach cramps she struggles to hide.
Just as Paige begins to feel settled in Texas, her dad’s worsening Crohn’s disease brings her home to Seattle. When her own health fails her, she has the choice of staying at home and receiving care. Or, she could go back to Texas and prove for once and for all that she’s more than her mistakes and more than a disease. Torn between two worlds and two versions of herself, Paige must decide where, and with whom, she truly feels at home.
Unravel by Amelia Loken
"Queen. The word weighs heavy between us. No one has EVER said I could rule. By myself. Because I'm deaf, or because I'm a girl, I don't know." -Marguerite, Unravel
Sixteen-year-old Marguerite knows her uncle doesn’t like her. True, she’s in line for the throne before him and he contends she’s too deaf to rule, but she’s known since he broke her hand to keep her from using sign language. Now, as the kingdom’s Bishop-Princep, Uncle Reichard has declared war on magic and Marguerite must hide the fact that she’s a witch.
While witnessing her first witch trial, Marguerite rescues a child from death with the help of a handsome, itinerant acrobat, Tys. Marguerite flees, hiding in the neighboring empire where magical gifts can flourish. Before her training is complete, war threatens. She returns home, only to witness her uncle seizing the throne. He isolates and imprisons her. Marguerite’s love for her people drives her to continue defying him. But to challenge him means she’ll have to rely on her homemade invisibility cloak, questionable allies, and Tys, the one boy she never should have trusted.
The Skeleton Key by Justine Manzano
"I had good days where I could bounce out of bed and work out with my father and our two new Guardian friends, Zane and Austin. On those days, I was proactive. I went out and fought interdimensionals, and sometimes, I caught humans wrapped up in dirty dealings, and I eliminated them too. Because evil was evil. On days like those, I got on flights and sealed rifts all over the world with the help of my team. Things got done. More than I had gotten done in my time at the estate. But I also had my bad days. Days where Ray’s wake-up call didn’t help. Days where I couldn’t leave my bed. Days where I tried motivating myself to do anything at all, even shower. Those days, Ray brought me meals in bed. His not-girlfriend, Zane, popped her head in to update me on our investigations. Austin, my best friend in this place, would sit on the floor beside my bed, providing either fun stories or a shoulder to cry on.
Then there were days that started well, only to take a header into a bottomless pit. Yesterday was like that." -Jacklyn, Keys & Guardians Series
Kyp Franklin can't move on. One year after his mother officially declared war against him, Kyp is still struggling to find his feet as the Order of the Key's new leader. He's far too concerned about tracking her down before she causes even more damage than she already has. In fact, that's all he's been doing. Until one day, after a particularly reckless mission, he returns to find a surprising visitor on his doorstep...
Jacklyn Madison can't move on. One year after she left the Order, she has a new team, and a new mission. She's determined to close all the interdimensional rifts between our world and the Dusk, before more people die trying to stop the creatures that pass through them. But a vision she had while on the edge of death leads her to the one place she never intended to return …
Forced to work together, Jacklyn, Kyp, and their respective teams uncover Lavinia's next plan: an alarming mix of magic and science the likes of which has never been seen before. Jacklyn and Kyp must learn to work together again and confront the demons of their past if they're going to stop Lavinia and those assisting her before their larger plan is put into action--a plan that could bring the monsters of the Dusk to our world...forever.
The Skeleton Key Releases April 12th, 2022
A Heartbeat Away from You by Ann M. Miller
“It’s okay to be scared,” I said. “You don’t have to pretend with me.” She didn’t say anything for a long moment. When she finally spoke, she focused on our linked hands. “Maybe I am scared.” “Of what?” Her eyes glimmered with unshed tears. “Of never being an athlete again. Of missing out on everything I want to do. Of people seeing me as the girl with the pacemaker and nothing else. All because of my stupid heart.”
After a daredevil play on the baseball field leads to a four-minute long cardiac arrest, seventeen-year-old Ali Benton is lucky to be alive. Now she wants to make the most of her second chance—and she’s not going to let a pesky little pacemaker, or her helicopter dad, slow her down.
Between chairing multiple school clubs and working two jobs to help his single mother pay the bills, Max Delaney has got every second of every day planned. His childhood nemesis, Ali, doesn’t figure into any of them. But when her overprotective father offers him cash to keep an eye on her and steer her away from baseball, his plans change.
Ali can’t figure out why Max, the condescending know-it-all, is sticking to her side like Krazy Glue, and Max can barely tolerate headstrong Ali. But opposites attract, and before long, fighting turns to kissing. Even as sparks fly, the secrets they’ve been keeping threaten to tear them apart. When Max learns Ali’s been putting herself in harm’s way and playing ball in secret, he struggles with how to tell her father. If he tattles, he’ll lose her trust. If he doesn’t, he may lose her heart…in more ways than one.
A Heartbeat Away from You Releases August 16th, 2022
So Long, Bobby by Lillah Lawson
"Kasey was grateful that she’d had access to medication that made her life somewhat more manageable back then—as if there was anything about having a shattered body and a dead best friend that could be managed—but she wished that she had been told then how excruciating it would be to come back down. Perhaps knowing what to expect would have made it more bearable."
Three generations of women face hardship and upheaval in the decades we wistfully remember – times of political upheaval, heartfelt music, and steadfast dreams. It is a story about how inherited trauma can break down whole families, how addiction can destroy, how not living your truth can sink you in despair…but how hope can always carry you back into the light.
So Long, Bobby Release Winter 2023