Our fabulous authors are finishing the year strong, and are already gearing up for a fantastic 2021, in the midst of some very exciting announcements and round-ups this week…

Feast your eyes on the eerie cover for Deborah O’Connor‘s The Captive, which is soon approaching! Deborah’s latest release is an unmissable thriller complete with her signature page-turning style, that promises shocking plot twists and imaginative themes. In a near-future alternative London, a widower is pushed to the edge, when her husband’s murderer is made to carry out his sentence in her home. The eBook edition of this title is being published by Bonnier Books / Zaffre in just under a fortnight, and (if you can wait that long) the paperback is out on the 7th January.

The great press absolutely will not stop for Katherine May‘s Wintering (Penguin Random House)!  In what is thrilling news, we can confirm that the memoir  is officially a Washington Post top 10 bestseller, in non-fiction, and as we speak, continues to soar up regional US charts.  The title was also featured in Penguin’s curated ‘gift guide for bibliophiles‘ this week (as one of only three non-fiction titles highlighted) and Katherine gave some fantastic advice for surviving the season in Fast Company this week. The praise from big names also continues – Actress Gen Padelecki recently selected the title for her December Book Club Pick, whilst author and activist Rachel Cargle declared her love for the book to some 1.9 million followers this week. And tonight, Katherine will be making a very special appearance on Jo Brand’s Channel 4 documentaryHow to Stay Sane in a Mad World. 

As you can likely tell, we at team MM think  our authors are all pretty fabulous. And we just love it when their talent is recognised – which is why Katherine’s success has been such a delight to watch! There’s much more Wintering news, but we couldn’t possibly fit it all into Weekly Highlights, so we’ve posted a separate write up of all Katherine’s accolades and appearances (so far)!

The countdown has officially begun for Ashley Audrain‘s  The Push (Penguin Random House). We have just under four weeks to go until the most anticipated debut of 2021 hits shelves on the 7th January! The buzz is very much beginning to build around this heart-stopping suspense novel, particularly in Canada, where Ashley is from. She’ll be making starry features in countless domestic publications, including the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail , Toronto Life and Quill & Quire – so keep your eyes peeled! Ashley will also grace the virtual line-up of Canada’s literary festival, Wordfest, and will give a very special interview at the Toronto Public Library in February! We can hardly wait until the public can enjoy the book en masse – but until then, you can glean from reviews like this recent one in Book Page, just how much of a splash it will make.

Ashley’s publication twin, author of Girl A Abigail Dean, also had some very kind words to say on the dark and enticing suspense novel:

In publication news, Secret Shores, the immersive historical romance by Ella Carey , was finally released by Bookouture this week, with it’s beautiful new cover! This is a novel which is sure to please, as it uncovers the fascinating story of a young female artist in the 1940’s, seeking fortune and independence in picturesque coastal Australia. To celebrate the release, Ella sat down with Female First, treating fans to 10 fun facts about her.

Superstar thriller writer C.L. Taylor‘s latest release, Strangers (HarperCollins / Avon) has been featured as one of Audible’s ‘top-rated’ titles of 2020. The Strangers audiobook is narrated by Clare Corbett, and tells the gripping tale of three troubled strangers, who’s lives become more and more intertwined, in increasingly dangerous ways. A memorable read – and an excellent listen.

Speaking of audiobooks, the lovely Becca Caddy shared a snippet from her upcoming self-help debut, Screen Time (Bonnier), out on the 7th January, which is all about how we can take charge and maintain balance in our increasingly digital lives. Do have a listen:

And Beth Morrey‘s endlessly satisfying “coming-of-old” debut, Saving Missy ( HarperCollins / HarperFiction) has been picked by NetGalley UK  as one of their  six ‘Books To Make Us Happy’! Beth also gave us a glimpse of the book’s enchanting large print edition jacket this week – we definitely approve:

We’ve been loving all of Jenny Bayliss‘ Christmassy features – the author of everyone’s favourite seasonal romcom,  The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Pan Macmillan),  joined the Bella Magazine team for a discussion on festive fiction, alongside fellow romcom author Milly Johnson.

Be sure to take a look at Country Living‘s round-up of Christmas titles to curl up with, and Buzzfeed‘s list of the best holiday romances, where you’ll find the book gets special mention. Jenny also shared a recommendation for HarperCollins’ ‘gift list‘ this week, and chose none other than – you guessed it – Wintering by Katherine May!

Our Children’s and YA authors have had a phenomenal week, too, with several recent and upcoming releases garnering heaps of attention:

Danielle Jawando‘s Carnegie-nominated YA debut, And the Stars Were Burning Brightly (Simon & Schuster) has been selected in Waterstones’ round-up of the ‘best books of 2020‘; this will come as no surprise, if you’ve been lucky enough to read her stirring exploration of teen bullying.

Benjamin Dean’s highly anticipated Middle Grade debut, Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow (Simon & Schuster), got a special shout out from bestselling writer Katherine Webber Tsang, who shared her recent reads to look out for in 2021. You certainly need to pre-order this heartwarming exploration of family and identity, which is out in February.

And Helen Rutter‘s riotous Middle Grade comedy, The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh (Scholastic), continues to get praise from high-profile readers – this time from celebrated comedienne, Shappi Khorsandi! If anyone knows funny, it’s Shappi, so you’re definitely in for a treat following its February release.

Two spooky Middle Grade books received special mention in the Scholastic gift guide, for their “funny, fantastical worlds and vibrant main characters“: Malice in Underland, a delightfully dark debut title by Jenni Jennings, and The Creature KeeperDamaris Young‘s bewitching recent release.

As well as this, our very own Children’s and YA agent, Chloe Seager, graced Book Brunch with a fabulous interview this week, which you must be sure to catch. Chloe chatted all about her lovely clients, the surreal experience of agenting in 2020, and her current wishlist!

In other agenting news, we’re over the moon to finally shout about the fact that we will be welcoming our first dedicated non-fiction Agent! As of February 2021, Emma Bal, head of publicity for non-fiction at Bloomsbury, will be joining our ever-growing team! With her incredible market insight and track record, we can’t wait to see what she does with this new role.

And in ever-exciting international rights news, our IRD confirmed the following excellent deals this week:

German rights to Jack Jordan‘s Do No Harm have gone to Droemer in a pre-empt.

Russian rights to Lorelei Savaryn‘s Circus of Stolen Dreams have gone to Phoenix.

Spanish rights to Katherine May‘s Wintering have gone to Roca.

World French rights (excl. North America) Katherine May‘s Wintering have gone to Le Lotus et L’Elephant.

North American French rights to Katherine May‘s Wintering  have gone to Groupe Homme.