Apr 082024

Publishers Weekly: Following the news that her father cheated on her mother, white-cued 17-year-old Olivia Owens and her mom must give up their lavish lifestyle; they’re both kicked out of their Rhode Island estate and Olivia loses her inheritance. When her father decides to marry for a third time and Olivia’s boyfriend cheats on her, she resolves to exact revenge. She refuses to let her father get away with his past lying and cheating, especially as her mother’s medical bills mount. With the help of a former high school teacher, Olivia assembles a motley crew of classmates à la The Italian Job and plots a heist to infiltrate her father’s upcoming wedding at the Rhode Island estate. But her quest for vengeance (and search for millions) is complicated by curious wedding guests, apologetic ex-boyfriends, and extended family members with agendas of their own. In this quickly moving story of self-discovery and high-stakes revenge schemes, married creators Wibberly and Siegemund-Broka (Never Vacation with Your Ex) employ Olivia’s sardonic first-person voice to construct a serpentine plot that’s equal parts intense action and organic teenage interactions. Ages 12–up. (June)

Apr 032024

The Bulletin: Inspired by a viewing of the 1996 film The First Wives Club, Ezra and his two best friends decide to get revenge on their terrible ex-boyfriends. Among the ensuing hijinks, Ezra anonymously uploads a TikTok video setting fire to his closeted ex’s letterman jacket, which quickly goes viral at their school. Further videos of school administrators enforcing their Watch What You Say initiative, which targets queer students and the expression of their identities, also go viral, and the trio begins to realize they can use all this attention to get their voices heard, carve out a place for themselves, and achieve something greater than their own revenge. Ezra narrates this funny, frothy Moxie read-alike, featuring a side cast of Ezra’s unfailingly supportive single dad, a warm, encouraging set of friends, and Ezra’s new hot jock crush (conveniently replacing his former hot jock boyfriend). The revenge antics are entertaining, but like their cinematic inspiration, the boys eventually channel their efforts into standing up for themselves and others, showcasing the power people have when they come together. Some readers should be cautious as Ezra’s disordered eating habits and negative body image are potentially triggering, but the ultimate message, as Ezra’s dad puts it, is that weight “doesn’t change your value.” Ezra bravely faces harassment, oppression from authority figures, and his own insecurities in this inspiring and uplifting story.

Mar 312024

Dutch rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ ALL SYSTEMS RED, ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, ROGUE PROTOCOL, and EXIT STRATEGY, the first four books in The Murderbot Diaries series, to De Fontein, by Vere Bank at Sebes & Bisseling in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.

French audio rights to LJ Andrews’s THE EVER KING, to Noa Rosen at Theleme, at auction, by Sarah Dray at Anna Jarota Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.

Italian rights to Kate Heartfield’s THE TAPESTRY OF TIME, to Marco Rana at Edizioni E/O, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency for Jennie Goloboy.

Spanish rights to Nebula Award winner Premee Mohamed’s THE BUTCHER OF THE FOREST, to Duermevela, by Amaiur Fernández at International Editors Co. in association with Michael Curry.

Turkish rights to LJ Andrews’s Broken Kingdoms series and Ever Seas series, to Juno Kitap, in a multi-book deal, at auction, by Merve Ongen at Anatolialit Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.

Mar 252024

Kirkus: A Rhode Island teen who went from riches to rags when her parents divorced masterminds a scheme to get even with her father.

After her mom leaves her philandering dad, 17-year-old Olivia Owens and her principled, loving mother are left broke. Swimming in medical debt after her exhausted mom falls asleep at the wheel in between jobs and is injured in a car crash, Olivia assembles a madcap cast of peers, plus a former teacher, each of whose skills are required for her plan to steal the codes for her dad’s offshore accounts. She intends to execute the heist during her father’s lavish wedding to his third wife, who’s only 25. Tom Pham, Deonte Jones, Cassidy Cross, and Mr. McCoy each have their own basically noble reasons for needing their cut of the money, though Jackson Roese, Olivia’s recent ex, still tries to convince her to abandon her potentially dangerous plan when he shows up at the wedding in a bid to win her back. Twists, obstacles, and double-crossing abound in this totally fun, over-the-top novel featuring smart, witty characters whose first impressions belie their more complex selves. Olivia’s frenetic inner thoughts as she navigates each successive snag balance her ongoing hurt feelings from being abandoned by her dad. Most central characters read white; Tom’s surname cues Vietnamese heritage, and Deonte is Black.

Goofy, poignant, and wildly entertaining.

Mar 192024

All aboard…

After their fateful stay at the Hearst Hotel, the Ghost Gang is back with more spooks and more subscribers. They’ve been invited to record onboard the RMS Queen Anne, a transatlantic luxury ocean liner with a colorful past of violent deaths of hundreds of passengers—souls that bought a one-way ticket to the afterlife (and never disembarked).

When Chrissy, Chase, Kiki, and Emma board the ship, they have a funny feeling they’ve been sucked into a ghostly time warp—a theory that takes a frightening turn when Chrissy goes missing on the first night.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Chrissy has been sucked into another time by a passenger who wants the Ghost Gang to know her untimely death was not an accident and the perpetrator is still alive—and on board this ship.

Mar 132024

Booklist: Ezra feels like a third wheel. His two best friends, Lucas and Finley, have boyfriends, while Ezra is single. Or is he? Well, no, he does have a boyfriend, golden boy Presley, but it’s a secret since Presley is deeply closeted. The status quo is shattered when Lucas’ and Finley’s boyfriends dump them, and Presley turns out to be a player, using Ezra to make his intended jealous. It’s Ezra who suggests exacting revenge. He begins secretly posting anonymous videos of their machinations to TikTok, where they go viral, attracting millions of views as the boys fight their school’s homophobic Watch What You Say policy. Will they succeed and will Ezra find true love? Stay tuned. Hubbard’s first novel is an agreeable success, though it sometimes requires a willing suspension of disbelief. But it is well plotted, even inspirational in the boys’ idealized fight for visibility. The characters are empathic, including Ezra’s father, who is a supportive sweetheart who wisely declares, “Believing in yourself is the best revenge.”

Mar 122024

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Washington, D.C., and the Calhouns are in the midst of hosting their annual party to celebrate the best of the spring season. With a house full of friends, neighbors, and their beloved three adult children, the Calhouns are expecting another picture-perfect event. But a brutal murder in the middle of the celebration transforms the yearly gathering into a homicide scene, and all the guests into suspects.

Behind their façade of perfection, the Calhoun family has been keeping some very dark secrets. Parents who use money and emotional manipulation to control their children. Two sons, one the black sheep who is desperate to outrun mistakes he’s made, and the other a new father, willing to risk everything to protect his child. And a daughter: an Instagram influencer who refuses to face the truth about the man she married.

As the investigation heats up, family tensions build, and alliances shift. Long-buried resentments surface, forcing the Calhouns to face their darkest secrets before it’s too late.

Feb 292024

a pair of black ear budsAda Palmer and Jo Walton’s TRACE ELEMENTS: Conversations on the Project of Science Fiction and Fantasy, from two of the most acclaimed writers in the field today, a groundbreaking look at understanding of how SF and fantasy work, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, by Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.

Emily Blackwood’s WINGS SO WICKED and BLOOD SO BRUTAL, Books 1 and 2 of Golden City duology, to Julie Constantine at Podium Audio, in an exclusive submission, by Katie Shea Boutillier (North American).

Jonathan French’s THE EXILED HEIR and THE ERRANTRY OF BANTAM FLYN, books one and two of the Autumn’s Fall series, to Kim Budnick at Tantor Media, at auction, by Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure (world English).

WA Simpson’s TINDERBOX, to Kerri Buckley at Dreamscape Media, to Katie Shea Boutillier, on behalf of Anne Tibbets (world English).

Feb 292024

French rights to Nebula Award winner Premee Mohamed’s THE BUTCHER OF THE FOREST, THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS, and AND WHAT CAN WE OFFER YOU TONIGHT, to L’Atalante, by Sarah Dray at Anna Jarota Agency in association with Michael Curry.

French renewal rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s ACADEM’S FURY, PRINCEP’S FURY, and FIRST LORD’S FURY, books 2, 5, 6 in the Codex Alera series, to Bragelonne, by Sarah Dray at Anna Jarota Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.

Hebrew rights to Monica Murphy’s Wedded Bliss series, to Venus, by Beverley Levit at The Israeli Association of Book Publishers, in a three-book deal, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.

Hungarian rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s GHOST STORY, Book 13 of The Dresden Files, to Delta Vision, by Milena Kaplarević at Prava i Prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.

Korean rights to James Scott Bell’s POWER UP YOUR FICTION, to 21st Century Culture Center, by Sue Yang at Eric Yang Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.

Slovakian rights to LJ Andrews’s THE EVER KING, to Zeleny Kocur, by Nada Popovic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Turkish rights to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s WRITTEN IN RED, MURDER OF CROWS, VISION IN SILVER, and MARKED IN FLESH, the first four books in the Others series, to Marti Yayinlari, by Merve Öngen at AnatoliaLit Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.

Feb 282024

Publishers Weekly: Buck (Fast Acting) brings the heat in this scorching rom-com. After professor Eva Campbell’s ex, Darren, stages a ridiculous romantic gesture at her place of work to try to get her back, Eva snaps and tries to fend him off with an improvised flamethrower created from the combination of a cigarette lighter and a can of bug spray—and the fire department is called. Hunky firefighter Sean Hannigan, 36, is immediately attracted to Eva, 41, and when Darren tries to intimidate Eva in her office, Sean commits to being her fake boyfriend to keep him at bay. What starts as just pretend quickly becomes all too real and Buck makes it easy to see how perfect these two are for each other. Swoony Sean is an avid reader who isn’t ashamed to love a romance novel, which endears Eva—a professor of literature and pop culture—to him immediately. When Eva witnesses him interacting with his numerous nieces and nephews, she realizes he’d be a great dad, but worries it’s too late for her to give him that. The result is a refreshingly grounded conflict that Buck handles with a great deal of sensitivity. The steamy sex scenes are just a bonus. Readers will have no trouble rooting for the chivalrous firefighter and the plucky professor to get their happily ever after. (Apr.)