Spokane, Washington-based writer Nicole Williams already had four self-published e-books to her credit before launching her YA romance trilogy Crash earlier this year. The first two novels, titled Crash and Clash, sold a combined total of more than 85,000 digital copies. Now HarperCollins has scooped up the books, which it rereleased digitally November 20, as part of a three-book deal. The titles are the first in the children’s division to be categorized as appropriate for ages 16 and up. (Typically, HarperCollins and HarperTeen books are categorized as no older than 14 and up.)

The “steamy teen romance,” as HarperCollins calls the series, delves into the intense relationship between Lucy, the new girl in town, and Jude, the local bad boy. Their all-consuming affair continues after high school, and though they attend different universities, the intensity increases both emotionally and physically as the story unfolds.

Phoebe Yeh, editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, negotiated the deal for North American translation rights with Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. “We’re seeing a trend toward realistic fiction in the marketplace,” Yeh says, “and we know our readers are looking for stories that follow characters after high school into more mature situations.”

HarperCollins released its own e-book editions of Crash and Clash November 20; paperback editions go on sale December 18. Crush, the conclusion to the trilogy, will be published simultaneously in paperback and as an e-book on April 23.