When Nar’s odar (non-Armenian) boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.
Enter Mom. Armed with plenty of mom guilt and an actual spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men (complete with their height and weight), Mom convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city—line dancing (okay), cooking class (better), brandy tasting (better yet).
But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or bro-slinging engineer that catches her eye at the very first gathering—it’s Erebuni, a woman as equally immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her winggirl, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so... sexy?
Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture, and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. Her mom doesn’t even want her wearing flats, how would she feel about Nar bringing home a woman? Nar is finally embracing the identities she’s stifled for years, but coming out could land her right in the center of the Armenian gossip mill, bringing lifelong shame to her mother.
The clock is ticking on Nar’s double life, though—the closing Explore Armenia banquet is coming up, and her entire extended family will be there, along with Erebuni. Her worlds colliding. But Nar is determined to be brave, determined to claim her happiness.
The inspiration behind the book: There are so few books on the Armenian diaspora experience, very few lighthearted ones, and even fewer LGBQTA+ stories. Armenians deserve joyous stories, queer Armenians even more so. I wanted to give visibility to the forgotten people within a forgotten people, and give them a happy ending. Also, I wanted to open the narrative on the complex contradictions of Armenian diaspora culture—how it is both painful and funny, beautiful but repressive. There are so many knots in the tree that comprise the Armenian experience, and I felt compelled to share a few of those knots with the world, in an uplifting way.
Cover art by Artist Liza Rusalskaya and Art Director Katie Anderson.
Forthcoming from Berkley - Penguin Random House, Summer 2024 cover reveal coming soon
Sparks fly between two women pitted against each other in this delectable new romantic comedy by Taleen Voskuni, author of Sorry, Bro.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nazeli “Ellie” Gregorian enjoys the prestige of her tech marketing job but hates the condescending Patagonia-clad tech bros, her micromanaging boss, and her ex-boyfriend, who she’s forced to work with every day. When Ellie’s lovingly overbearing parents ask her to attend PakCon—a food packaging conference in Chicago—to help promote their company and vie to win an ad slot in the Superbowl (no big deal), she’s eager for a brief change and a delicious distraction.
At the conference, she meets witty, devil-may-care Vanya Simonian. Ellie can’t believe how easy it is to talk to Vanya and how much they have in common—both Armenian! From the Bay Area! Whose families are into food! Their meet-cute is cut short, however, when Ellie’s parents recognize Vanya as the daughter of the owners of their greatest rival, whose mission (according to Ellie’s mother) is to whitewash and package Armenian food for the American health-food crowd.
Sworn as enemies, Ellie and Vanya must compete against each other under their suspicious parents' scrutiny, all while their feelings for each other heat to sizzling temps.