Bobbie Combs, former buyer at Koen Kids, and Sally Lindsay, v-p of merchandising and marketing at Koen, have launched Two Lives Publishing. The company will focus on children's books with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes; their target audience is children in gay and lesbian families.

The first two titles from Two Lives, ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs, illus. by Desiree Keane and Brian Rappa, and 123: A Family Counting Book by Combs, illus. by Danamarie Hosler, were published this month. The books are being distributed to the trade through Koen and BookPeople. Two Lives aims to publish five to eight books per year, and five additional books are currently in production—one by Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies, is scheduled for spring 2002.

"We saw a real need for this kind of publishing," Lindsay said. "More and more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are starting families, and we want to provide a continuous output of books for them."

Combs and Lindsay have also designed a Web site——to not only promote their company but to serve as a resource for gay and lesbian families; books can be purchased through the Web site. Though Combs and Lindsay are the only employees at the moment, Two Lives has plans for expanding the business; there is even talk of a line of greeting cards and gift items.