“One of the most emotionally affecting novels I’ve ever read.” —Jeff Mann, author, Loving Mountains, Loving Men

“A crisp romantic page-turner told with deft wit and great heart..” —Aaron Hamburger, author, Hotel Cuba and Nirvana Is Here

In a small Kentucky college town in 1953, two married women fall madly in love with each other, until a single slip-up in discretion threatens to destroy both their lives. In her new adult novel, award-winning author Julia Watts creates a compelling and emotional tale of passion, power, fulfillment—and consequences—of not playing by the rules in Appalachia. Colleagues and neighbors of Samuel and Boots are more than willing to accept their married status, even though their official relationship is one of convenience that will never be consummated. But when Samuel meets a new professor’s wife, Frances, at a faculty party, she soon falls in love, and learns the difficulty of discretion in a small town—with tragic consequences. LAMBDA award-winning author Julia Watts (Needlework, Quiver) returns to adult fiction in this consummate historical work.

LOVESICK BLOSSOMS: A Novel by Julia Watts
978-1-953103-342-0360 Pages | TRP-109 | Trade Paper | $16.00
Pub Date: 10/24/23

Purchase directly from Three Rooms Press here.

Or pick up your copy wherever fine books are sold, including:




Lovesick Blossoms by Julia Watts is a crisp romantic page-turner told with deft wit and great heart. This juicy story brimming with memorable characters vividly transports readers back to 1950s Kentucky in ways that speak to important truths about our own time.” —Aaron Hamburger, author, Hotel Cuba and Nirvana Is Here

“What an astounding book.  It had me laughing, then crying, then cussing, then flinching with anxiety.  A true testament to how difficult and dangerous 1950s lesbian and gay life used to be, Lovesick Blossoms is one of the most emotionally affecting novels I’ve ever read.” —Jeff Mann, author, Country and Loving Mountains, Loving Men

“Julia Watts has done it again. The characters in LOVESICK BLOSSOMS are unforgettable, and their dilemmas are a poignant reminder of the limited choices–and the dangers–for LGBTQ folks of previous generations. An important addition to Watts’s body of work chronicling LGBTQ lives in Appalachia.” —Dr. Allison E. Carey, author of Doubly Erased: LGBTQ Literature in Appalachia


For Needlework 

Winner, Bronze Medal, Foreword 2022 Indies Award for Young Adult Fiction
2022 Great Reads from Great Places Children’s Book Selection for Tennessee

“Watts’s engaging book addresses timely topics like addiction, homophobia, and racism, but her gentle, heartwarming prose makes this book a comfort read. Kody’s sweetly honest narration makes it impossible not to cheer for him. . . . Highly recommended.” —School Library Journal

“Watts (Quiver) depicts queer existence in a conservative white Appalachian town with realism and, effectively, hope. Even as Kody experiences harm caused by those closest to him, he never doubts his value, a characterization that proves validating in this poignant exploration of the generational trauma caused by poverty, addiction, and racism, and of the power of being loved for oneself.” —Publishers Weekly

“Watts, who lives in Appalachia, captures the setting, the characters, and their voices with conviction. . . . A very readable novel.” —Booklist

For Quiver

Quiver  is an amazing, heartfelt book with a powerful lesson to share. Nearly all young adults feel judged or excluded at some point in their lives; this story will help anyone, no matter their situation, see that acceptance is possible.” Foreword Reviews, starred review, Foreword Indies Finalist

“A wonderful story of friendship…For anyone who has felt “different,” Watts’s novel will be ultimately relatable.” VOYA Magazine, Perfect 10 Rating

“Discussions of values and morality are straightforward and thoughtful, offering some provocative opportunities for readers to articulate their own possibly unquestioned views in discussion. The atmosphere is vivid: Watts’ knowledge of country Tennessee shines through in the details.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This just may be the perfect book for our times, when acknowledgement of common ground and empathy are sorely needed.” —New York Journal of Books 


Julia Watts

Julia Watts is the author of fourteen novels and several short story collections in the genres of young adult fiction and lesbian fiction/erotica. Her books, set in Appalachia, often depict the lives of LGBTQ people in the Bible Belt. Her most recent novel, Needlework, was selected as Tennessee’s youth selection for the “Great Reads from Great Places” list for the 2022 National Book Festival of the Library of Congress, and won Honorable Mention for Best YA novel of the year in the Foreword INDIES awards.Her novel Finding H.F. (Alyson Press) won the Lambda Literary Award in the children/young adult category. Her novel, Quiver, set in rural Tennessee, received a rare “Perfect 10 Rating” from VOYA Magazine, and was selected for the American Library Association’s Rainbow List. Her novel Secret City (Bella Books) was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and a winner of a Golden Crown Literary Award. In 2020 Watts was given the Tennessee Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Award. She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Share This!