Bad Idea is a Bisexual Book Awards Finalist!

I’m so pleased to announce that my first book, Bad Idea, was selected as a finalist for the Bisexual Book Awards. You can see the full announcement and other finalists here.

I’ll be going to the awards ceremony on June 3rd, where I’ll have a chance to read from the book. I’m so looking forward to it. This is a dream come true for me, and I’m honored to be in the company of the other authors whose books were selected.

A big thank you to my publisher, Queerteen Press, the Bi Writers Association, and to everyone who read the book.

Bad Idea by Erica Yang

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Coming Soon! Wholehearted

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My novella, Wholehearted, will be released on February 28, 2016! It’s currently available for pre-order on Queerteen PressAmazon, and Barnes & Noble.

When the college health clinic discovers Bonnie Deluca was born with a hole in the wall of her heart, she finds herself suddenly facing surgery — and the family she’s been estranged from since leaving home. They don’t accept her girlfriend, don’t respect her needs, and aren’t the people she wants making her medical decisions if anything goes wrong. A friendly nurse points out that a new option has become available in their state: thanks to marriage equality, Bonnie can make Tina her next of kin.

Tina Harper never thought she’d be getting married at nineteen. In spite of her fear, she wants to be there for Bonnie as best she can. Tina agrees to marry Bonnie so she can protect her.

As she faces off with Bonnie’s family, Tina can only hope Bonnie will come out of surgery wholehearted and ready to live with the decision they’ve made.


EXCERPT

Silence stretched between them for a moment. There were so many odd beeps in a hospital. They seemed to get louder by the second, and they seemed ominous, as if they were the countdown for a bomb that was about to explode.

“What did you want to talk about?” Tina asked finally. “I’m trying to be cool, but I’m kind of worrying myself sick over here.”

Bonnie nodded. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out.”

“But…”

“Some of what I have to tell you. Well, it freaks me out. It’s stuff worth freaking out over.”

“Okay.” Tina’s voice sounded tight and careful. She spoke in a tone that Bonnie had never heard from her before.

Bonnie sighed. “They finished their tests, and they’re saying I need surgery. Serious surgery. Soon.”

Tina’s arms tightened around Bonnie even more. “How serious? How soon?”

“Open heart surgery. They wanted to do it tomorrow, but I asked if we could wait until the day after tomorrow.”

“Open heart surgery,” Tina repeated.

“Yeah. Um, I guess there are some other ways to deal with an atrial septal defect.” She said the unfamiliar words carefully. They still didn’t mean much to her—other than the temporary (she hoped not permanent) destruction of life as she knew it. She cleared her throat. The doctors had explained things, but the moment had felt like a blur and it was hard to remember exactly what had been said. “They were looking into using those other ways?” Her voice lifted with uncertainty as she tried to mentally reconstruct the day’s important conversations. “But they don’t think they’ll work? So, yeah. Open heart surgery.”

“Wow.”

“I know.”

“Look, I don’t really know. Maybe I saw stuff in a show on Netflix sometime? I think open heart surgery is pretty serious, but…”

“They’re saying I’ll probably be fine. The outlook is good, or whatever.”

“Probably.”

“Right, probably. I’m young, otherwise healthy. They said they were surprised I hadn’t experienced shortness of breath exercising before.” Bonnie smiled apologetically, though she knew Tina couldn’t see her expression. “I don’t think they liked it when I told them I had plenty of times, but I just thought I was being weak and that it wasn’t worth going to the doctor.”

“I’m still stuck on probably.”

“That’s actually the part I wanted to talk to you about.”

Tina’s strong exhale rustled the back of Bonnie’s hair. “Okay. I’m as ready as I’m going to be.”


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Better Than Her

Better Than Her, by Erica Yang

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Sydney Shieh is pitching at top form for the Central High Seabirds, but isn’t good enough. No matter how hard Sydney works, Rebecca Howard, star pitcher for the Seacrest High Jaguars, does better and looks effortless in the process. Sydney swears to take Rebecca down or learn her secrets.

Rebecca plays softball for fun, not competition. She doesn’t believe in obsessive practice or softball camps or worrying too much about what other people think of her. But she keeps rising to Sydney’s challenges.

Rebecca and Sydney can’t leave each other alone, and their friends keep asking when they’re going to admit what they really want. Even if their friends are right, how can they be together when they’re out to defeat each other every step of the way?


EXCERPT:

“Jeez,” Sydney said. “Must be nice to have people begging you to take their softball camp scholarships.”

Rebecca didn’t have time for this competition Sydney thought they were in. She just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. “Must be nice to be able to buy your way in whether you’ve got the talent or not,” she shot back. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, she regretted them. She hadn’t intended to be that mean — she’d just been nervous. Sydney flinched, and her eyes flashed, and Rebecca sort of wanted to apologize but couldn’t figure out how to do that without explaining why she’d been on edge in the first place.

“You don’t think I have the talent,” Sydney said slowly.

Rebecca tried to backpedal. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Yeah? Then what did you mean?”

“I don’t know.”

“Sure.” Sydney stepped closer, using her height to loom. Rebecca didn’t think she was afraid of her, but her body shivered as if it hadn’t gotten the memo. She shoved her hands behind her back and hoped Sydney wouldn’t notice they were trembling. “I’ll make you a promise, Rebecca Howard. I’m going to defeat you. I’m going to out-pitch you in what ought to be your moment of glory, and leave you feeling humiliated when you wish you were celebrating.”

Rebecca backed up, raising both hands. “Whoa. That’s intense, Sydney. It’s unnecessary.”

“Why? Because that day you pitched the no-hitter, you were only competing against yourself, not with me? I was there, and you can’t pretend I wasn’t. I’m going to show you how it felt.”

“Fine. Whatever. I’ll see you next season.”

“Next season,” Sydney spat.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?” Rebecca tried not to show how much effort it was taking for her to stand her ground. She wasn’t used to being easily intimidated. She’d faced down bigger girls before. For some reason, though, standing this close to Sydney made her want to start running and never look back.

“You’re scared,” Sydney said.

“I’m not.” It was true — or it ought to have been, anyway — but the words came out with an unmistakable quaver.

That sound was like blood in the water. Sydney responded to it with a shark’s grin. “You want to wait until next year before you face me again because you want to ride that no-hitter for as long as possible. You want to hold that over me and act like it settles things between us.”

“There’s nothing between us!” Rebecca protested, but she knew that was a lie even as she said it. She could hear her pulse in her ears. Sydney’s presence pissed her off like nothing else in the world. She hated the version of herself that Sydney seemed to see — she wasn’t this arrogant, swaggering, insecure girl who was afraid of being unseated from her fragile throne. She didn’t know what to call whatever was between them — she wasn’t looking to be in a rivalry — but, whether she liked it or not, they seemed to be connected in some way.

Sydney must have known that, too, because she didn’t bother arguing — she only smirked. “Scared to death,” she said.

“I really don’t care if you beat me,” Rebecca said. “You could do it tomorrow, and it wouldn’t change anything.”

“Because deep down you’d still be better than me.”

Rebecca could feel Sydney’s breath hitting her face. Given the bitterness of her words, it smelled surprisingly sweet. She stood close enough that Rebecca could also pick up the unembellished scent of her soap and shampoo and the slight muskiness of her skin underneath. Her head spun.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with you,” Rebecca said weakly. “I missed the deadline. I wasn’t going to sign up for camp.”

Sydney nodded in the direction Danielle had gone. “You heard her. The deadline doesn’t matter. The money doesn’t matter. You’ve got no excuses at all.”

Sydney’s opinion shouldn’t matter, either. It bothered Rebecca that it did. Still, even as she opened her mouth to say no, she knew that what would actually come out would be yes.

She didn’t like how weak and thrown off she felt, so she dug into the ground like she did before a pitch, rooting herself in the force of the energy she could store in her knees, ankles, and hips. Braced against the earth this way, Rebecca always felt as if she could fly if she had to.

“I’ll be at your camp,” Rebecca promised Sydney. “And you’ll try to defeat me or humiliate me or whatever you say you’re going to do, but you’re right about one thing. I don’t think you can.”


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Bad Idea

Bad Idea by Erica Yang

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Riva Corley needs a girlfriend. Not because she wants one, but because her boyfriend, Benton, is pushing her to kiss a girl in front of him. Afraid of losing Benton, Riva agrees to try, but she never expects to find a girl she actually likes and wants to kiss for her own reasons.

Daisy Mejia has stayed closeted for all of high school so far — it seems pointless to come out for a kiss that’s destined to go nowhere. Daisy also has no desire to put on a show for Riva’s boyfriend. But she’s had a crush on Riva Corley forever, and Daisy can’t pass up this chance.

Before long, what starts out as a bad idea begins to look more like a relationship. Soon, Daisy must decide how much trouble she’ll put up with, and Riva has to figure out what it means when she’s falling for another girl.


EXCERPT:

            Riva’s arm tingled in the spot where Daisy had touched her. They stood closer than before. The heat of Daisy’s side warmed Riva’s. They ordered the shake, then took it to a counter in the food court, where they sat too close for Riva’s comfort but not close enough for her desire.
            Daisy watched Riva take the first sip of the blueberry shake. Riva felt seen in a way she wasn’t used to. Part of her wanted to feel like that a lot more, and part of her wanted to close off and never feel that way again. She remembered being scared with Benton, too — having feelings for another person was fun and exciting, but it didn’t seem safe to her.
            Riva’s hand shook as she passed the shake to Daisy so she could taste it, too. They didn’t break eye contact as Daisy slipped her lips over the end of the straw. “Is it okay?” Riva wasn’t sure exactly what she was asking. Nothing was wrong — she was having a great time — but she couldn’t quite believe that nothing was wrong.
            “The blueberry? Yeah, it’s good.” Daisy casually set the shake on the counter beside them, then rubbed the palm of her hand against her shirt, leaving a few drops of moisture behind. Every movement she made seemed hyperreal to Riva, as if it would be impossible to forget later. This had also happened with Benton. In the early days of their relationship, Riva had often gone to bed at night and replayed every nuance of his facial expressions, analyzing them and snatching any excuse they gave to glow with pleasure or fret with insecurity.
            “What about you?” Daisy was asking, forehead creasing with concern. “Is the blueberry good?”
            Riva took another sip. It was good, creamy and sour-sweet in just the way she liked, with plump bits of blueberry mixed in. But she could barely focus on enjoying it with Daisy in front of her and what they’d agreed to do hanging constantly in the air. “It’s great,” Riva said. “You’re great.”
            “But?”
            “But I’m nervous,” Riva admitted. “I don’t know how to act around you anymore.”
            “Just like always,” Daisy said.
            Riva shook her head. “That won’t work anymore, and you know it. Everything’s different now.” Her voice didn’t want to work. She had to force the last few words out. “The way I think about you … It’s not the same.”
            “What’s it like?”
            “You know.”
            Daisy had that pained expression again. “I really don’t.”
            Sighing, Riva hunted for some way to express herself. “When I met Benton, there were all these things I’d never felt before. The things that made me think I was falling in love.”
            Daisy nodded. “Okay …”
            “I don’t know what it means that I’m feeling them about you.”
            Blinking, Daisy drew back. “You’re saying you’re falling in love with me?”
            Riva stiffened, glancing around involuntarily to see whether anyone had overheard. She didn’t want to give Daisy the wrong idea about what was going on. She wasn’t sure what it would mean if she was in love with Daisy, but she was pretty sure things couldn’t go on the same way with Benton. She wasn’t ready for that. “No! I’m just saying I don’t know what it means.”

Check out the reviews for Bad Idea on Goodreads!


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