When Words Grow Fangs

Happy Blog Post Day, my reader-friends!

Today, I thought my blog post should be about my upcoming LGBTQ+ YA novel – WHEN WORDS GROW FANGS! And in case you follow me on Twitter and haven’t seen the cover enough times by now, here it is again:

WHEN WORDS GROW FANGS is the story of what happens when Jude Ross stands up to his school’s (mostly Principal Lockmore’s) antiquated views on LGBTQ+ programs for the students of Whitmer Central High School.

All Jude has wanted to do was play the mobile game Bandits with his buddies, learn as much as he can about journalism–he plans to be a world-renowned journalist one day–run his blog and his advice column (Hey, Jude), and spend time with his friends and family. However, on the first day back from Winter Break, a fellow student at his school is the catalyst for a social media firestorm that leads Jude down the path of standing up for all of the kids in his school…regardless of how they identify.

Before he knows it, an article he writes on his blog about the injustices at Whitmer Central High School has gone viral, he becomes the subject of an international news piece, and everyone either loves him or hates him. His moms–and his sister, Penny–are proud of him. However, what does this all mean for a teenager who still hasn’t quite figured out his own identity?

In the end, Jude realizes that not all of the people he disagrees with are the enemy, not everyone he agrees with is his friend, and sometimes our lifelong dreams hold a bit of tarnish.

This isn’t an LGBTQ YA book about finding love–though, with the way Jude’s life is going, it’s a possibility–but more about discovering oneself and learning to stand up for what is right. Even when no one asked you to do it.

I’m extremely excited to share this story with all of you. It has same-sex parents representation, representation of the whole gender/sexuality spectrum, and is full of humor and heart. Most importantly, Jude is a character living with an anxiety disorder. It’s not a plot point. It’s not used for dramatic purposes. It’s just his reality. Anyone should be able to read WHEN WORDS GROW FANGS and find someone with whom to identify.


I know that fact alone will make the readers who have been with me from the beginning extremely happy. If your heartstrings get pulled in this one, it will be for happy reasons. It’s definitely more heartwarming than heartwrenching.

WHEN WORDS GROW FANGS comes out March 5th, 2021–just two-and-a-half weeks away! If you haven’t reserved your copy yet, what are you waiting for, people? You’ll want to spend time with Jude, his family, and his friends as soon as soon as March 5th hits!

To whet your appetite for a new Chase Connor book, here’s a very brief snippet from the book, just to give you the “vibe.”

Within seconds, I had opened Zoom and clicked “login” to access my account. Moments later, I saw my face in the grainy live box in the middle of the screen. I yanked my phone out of my pocket and sent the meeting code to the group text. Normally, waiting for everyone to join the Zoom meeting would have taken forever. However, seconds later, in rapid succession, three other boxes joined mine on my laptop screen. I adjusted my laptop screen with haste so my camera was at a better angle.

            “Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!” Nick crowed from his box. “What’s happening, hot stuff?”

            “Hey, Nick,” I responded.

            “Sup, you ugly bastards?” Callie said from her box before stuffing a handful of popcorn into her mouth.

            At least, it looked like popcorn. Zoom videos are never that great.

            “Being ugly, beautiful.” Nick smiled widely.

            “Ugh.” Callie responded blandly before reaching off camera for more popcorn. “Don’t be so obvious about wanting me, Nikita.

            “Hey, guys!” Joey piped up cheerfully.

            “Hey, everyone,” I said. “What’s up?”

            Callie shrugged, I think, and chewed her mouthful of popcorn, another handful at the ready.

            “Not a damn thing,” Nick said. “Boring as balls around here. I can’t wait for school to start.

            “Not me.” Callie mumbled around her mouthful of food. “I just got up. A girl needs her sleep. I don’t want to start getting up at butt-early-thirty again.”

            “I can’t wait to see all you guys!” Joey replied.

            “This guy,” Callie said. “Are you ever not a raging dork, Josephine?

            Nick cackled loudly and leaned back, stretching in his chair.

            “I mean,” I said, “I kind of miss you guys, too.”

            “Another lost cause.” Callie stuffed more popcorn in her mouth and proceeded to keep talking. “Don’t you guys have lives or something?”

            “We’re here talking to you,” I said, attempting to smile. “So, that proves you don’t have a life, either.”

            “Give me time,” Callie said. “Just woke up, remember? In an hour I’ll be living my fabulous life doing fabulous things in my fabulous bedroom all by my fabulous self because the fabulous snow means my mom won’t let me go to any fabulous places.

            We all laughed.

            “So,” I said, moving my eyes to Joey’s box, “how are you just gonna let me get shanked in the neck in Bandits and do nothing, man?”

            He winced.

            “My bad,” He said. “Mom was yelling at me, and—”

            Did you know your roots have grown out, Judith?” Callie cut him off.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,