We’re kicking off April with another fantastic week of bestseller news, chart-toppers and some brand new publication announcements. The Weekly Highlights are early today.

 

To start off, we have some exciting publication news, as Helen Scarlett’s highly-anticipated gothic-Victorian debut The Deception of Harriet Fleet was published today. Described as a “recasting of Jane Eyre” that is “chilling, dark and brimming with suspense”, The Deception of Harriet Fleet follows Harriet, a governess who is pushed deeper into the mystery of her host family’s disturbing past, and the tragic murder of a small child that is the subject of her new charge’s dangerous obsession.

Helen’s blog-tour will commence from the 1st to the 5th of April.

https://twitter.com/giles_milburn/status/1377572160017985537

 

Ben Oliver’s The Block was also published today by Chicken House. The second book in his internationally renowned sci-fi trilogy, The Loop; The Block revisits protagonist Luka who once again, finds himself imprisoned and in need of charging a prison-break. The e-book of his debut novel, The Loop, is currently No. 1 in three different categories and No.98 on the Amazon E-book bestseller list.

 

Helen Rutter’s charming debut middle-grade book, The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh, (published by Scholastic) has been featured in the Foyles Top Ten list. Helen and her son Lenny (who inspired her new book), made their TV and radio debut not too long ago after appearing on CBBC Newsround and BBC RADIO 5 Live, where Lenny charmed both interviewers and viewers with his passion and humour.

 

Rona Halsall’s fast-paced thriller One Mistake (published in May 2020 by Bookouture), has climbed up to #3 on the Australian Amazon chart over the weekend. Always looking to stun her readers with a good twist, Rona’s new psychological thriller follows struggling mother Sam, who’s trying to keep her family afloat. When she strikes a deal with her boss, offering a favour in exchange for some help, Sam soon learns that she may have made a terrible mistake.

 

We’re absolutely thrilled that Agency author Yomi Adegoke has been chosen as the new host of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Podcast. Yomi will be contributing to a new book titled, Of This Our Country, which is set to be published by Borough Press (Harper Collins) in September 2021.  This new essay-collection will feature the voices of acclaimed and award-winning Nigerian writers, who hope to share their voices on a country that holds so much more than any one perspective could.

Do listen in to the podcast, which is released every Thursday until July. Subscribe now.

 

Danielle Jawando’s debut YA novel And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, published by Simon and Schuster in March 2020, has been shortlisted for this year’s YA book Prize.  Danielle took part in the YA Book Prize Twitter chat along with fellow nominee, Patrice Lawrence, author of Eight Pieces of Silver, where they took questions from readers, ranging from “what inspired your novel?” to “how has lockdown affected your writing?”

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly follows 15-year-old Nathan, whose entire world is torn apart after he discovers that his older brother has taken his own life; a story of loss, love, understanding and the importance of speaking out when all you want to do is shut down.

 

Our Middle-grade and Children’s authors are also continuing to grab attention, with Louise Gooding’s Just Like Me and Katie Kirby’s, The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks having been recently selected for the Primary School Book Club Vote.  Lottie Brooks was also listed in the Sunday Times bestseller top 20 children’s titles and was also featured at No.7 on the Bookseller’s children’s and YA chart.

Just Like Me was also selected as The Reader Teacher’s Monthly Must-reads.

 

 

In some exciting acquisition news Lorelei Savaryn‘s new novel The Night Train has been acquired by Liz Kaplan at Penguin Random House. Lorelei’s debut novel The Circus of Stolen Dreams, was shortlisted for the Oklahoma Library Association’s book awards. Her spooky new middle-grade fantasy features time-traveling twin sisters, who are sent 150 years into the past aboard a train, that they know from history, meets a very disastrous end.

 

Inga Vesper’s debut novel, The Long Long Afternoon, published earlier this year by Manila Press (Bonnier Books), was recently reviewed in the Irish Times. Chris Brookmyer, Scottish novelist, and author of BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick, The Cut, describes it as ‘’a kind of pulp-noir version of the Stepford Wives, with Vesper weaving in themes of women’s empowerment, institutionalised racism, and the redemptive power of art’’. Giving further praise, he states that ‘’the classic hardboiled era was the province of white male authors, however Inga Vespa looks askance at these conventions, and reconfigures the template with a timely and refreshing debut.’’ 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of newspaper features, Emma Stonex, author of Sunday Times bestseller, The Lamplighters, recently wrote an article for The Guardian. In this piece contemplating the mysteries of lighthouses, Emma talks about “how lighthouse keepers show us the way in dark in isolated times.” Sharing some of the research she did and biographies she read around lighthouses and lighthouse-keepers, Emma says that

I wasn’t just fascinated by the keepers’ lives, but their wives’ as well. Here were women who in some respects were made to submit to their husbands’ jobs, living in provisional housing, forced to uproot to wherever in the country the work called. But, in others, they were pioneers. A light-keeper’s wife ran her household to her own tune; she was autonomous in his absence, a single parent for much of the year, imposing her own rules and fashions. How hard it would have been, though, looking out at that lonely, endless sea. My daughter was six months old when I started writing, and during the long, sleepless, hopeless nights of babyhood, I could imagine looking out at a lighthouse, knowing my husband was there but unable to reach him.”

Be sure to give it a read here.

 

Finally in some amazing IRD news,

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh has sold to CommonWealth Education in Taiwan.

The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks has gone to Eesti Raamat in Estonia in a two book deal.

Polish rights to Mark Edwards’s The Hollows have been sold to Muza.

Portuguese rights for Alias Emma by Ava Glass and a second book have sold to Presenca.